A new chapter written solely by Piccioli opened, and it read just beautifully. Piccioli is an avid researcher, a fan of the Renaissance, an expert in all forms of couture techniques, and even more importantly, is curious and open to the world beyond the Valentino headquarters in Rome. The first step he took was to liberate the ready-to-wear show from the darkness and anonymity of a tent in the Tuileries, and let the light stream in on the girls who walked around the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild—already a change for the better. They were wearing a collection he’d based on looking at a lot of medieval art, but particularly at Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights—not that the clothes read as historicist at all.   It was indeed: a magical series of handkerchief-hemmed, diaphanous dresses in pinks to reds came out, delicately printed or embroidered with patterns of birds and fantasy vegetation. The girls, their hair done in simple braids, had fresh faces and rosebud pink lips. On their feet were velvet sandals or wonderful dusty-pink suede slippers with a low block heel and ankle straps.   Fresh from the SS17 collection, Valentino’s hunter/old rose silk-georgette long-sleeved blouse is a sophisticated choice for spring. It’s crafted in Italy with a trailing neck-tie – at back – and finished with pink trims on the cuff to enhance a statement look. Wear it as a soft counterpart to the label’s pencil skirts.   Valentino works with legendary British designer Zandra Rhodes for SS17, creating prints inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych, The Gardens of Earthly Delights. First seen on the runway at Paris Fashion week, the Nocciole Chiaro/ Nude brown silk gown and finished with high neck. The floor length hem moves elegantly with every step – be sure to emphasize the effect with heels.   New for SS17, Valentino crafts the ankle length dress in a signature shade of nude and old rose and subtly adorns it with a criss cross low back. It’s shaped with a low v-neck, and finished with flare sleeves to enhance the slender ankle length silhouette. Heighten the look for evening with barley there heels.   Valentino’s boxy top is crafted in Italy and decorated with a acid grass green, and finished with short-sleeves and a crew neck-line. Wear it with utilitarian separates.   The vibrant colours in Valentino’s SS17 collection mirror a lively spirit. The floor-skimming skirt in rich shades of acid green is cut to fall from the waist in voluminous pleats. Tuck in a crisp white shirt, and top with a khaki bomber jacket for a tougher twist, or pair with Valentino’s batwing jersey knit top finished with pink print.   Emblazoned with the new-season Garden of delight and full pink garden print – look closely and you’ll see the blue and pink pattern is an array of garden motifs. It’s cut to a contemporary ¾ sleeve top and is featured in knit jersey. Tuck this heavily printed top into the label’s skirt or shorts for maximum impact.   Concluding the SS17 collection, Valentino’s grigio mlg long-sleeved cashmere knit is one of the best ways to tap the trend. It’s enlivened with an eye-popping palm trees design – inspired by the humid climes of Cuba – and outlined with forest-green piping. Team it with matching trousers for statement-making impact.

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