Valentino Spring 2014 Couture Collection

Posted on January 23, 2014

Valentino Spring 2014 Couture Collection






[Photo Credit: IMAXtree]

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  • Is this really the spring collection and not the Halloween collection?

    • conniemd

      You mean spring doesn’t say brown and beige and gray to everyone. Who knew?

      • Lattis

        I read once that LBJ complained to Lady Bird that she only wore “mule colors.” I am a proud mule color kind of person, but I get that they aren’t for everyone.

      • JohnnyC

        tits and minge in cling film – as Magda would say.

      • Derek_anny

        I don’t know about you, but Spring is Mud Season, with a bit of melting lake ice.

  • Tatiana Luján

    The Old Testament or Aesop’s fables as inspiration? I love it.

    • frannyprof

      I keep thinking of William Blake’s “Tyger” poem… Fellow English major nerds, appreciate this with me.

      • Tatiana Luján

        I’ll look it up, because English isn’t even my first language.

      • Tatiana Luján

        I just read it. Its beautiful, so musical and evocative! Thanks.

      • “…burning bright in the forests of the night.” Thanks for bringing that to mind!
        — a former English major (still somewhat nerdy)

      • Derek_anny

        That’s perfect! All I could come up with was “Imperialist India.”

    • RohanMBN

      That description could not be more perfect.

  • MilaXX

    Hit or miss. Some of nice and others look like a tribute to the Lion King. I like then jump down to the 2 greyish, taupe-y color dresses & olive green dress that scream Florence Welsh to me.

    • Yup, all I could think of was Flo.

    • KinoEye

      Yes! A lot of those dresses scream for Florence.

    • Garcia Loca

      And what, pray tell, is wrong with a tribute to the Lion King?

    • amf0001

      I thought, Lion King and Mikado. And some were quite beautiful but others definitely were not.

  • Blair Sylvester

    The first one has already been done by Bjork and pretty much everyone remembers it. also this collection feels like a home decor collection. Also also Kim Kardashian would kill in that dress with the naked woman on it and her matching naked woman Hermes bag.

    • Lily-Rygh

      I was JUST about to post that dress one is like a wimpy Bjork dress! Spot on.

      And gross but also spot on about Kim Kardashian and that fucking HIDDY bag she was so proud of for all of one day but hasn’t been seen with since…

  • barbarienne

    Those first two things made me worry about what else was coming, but fortunately the rest was good-to-awesome. The history major/sci-fi geek in me loves most of this. Not sure about those long, solid-color maxidresses, but their lines are beautiful. I suspect under real conditions they would need more accessorizing, but I understand showing them off like this on a runway.

    The only thing I can’t get behind are the ballerina dresses and the feathers. We saw enough of that in the immediate after of Black Swan. Tulle OR feathers, fine, but not both together anymore, please.

    I particularly love the grey coats with the applique, and the dress in the 24th pic down (grey, with panels and a square neckline). I would wear the hell out of those, though maybe not together.

  • @Biting Panda

    So there’s a bit of fairy whimsy, some Out of Africa realness, and a few French maidens of yore thrown in for good measure? Rrrrright. Makes perfect sense.

    • MilaXX

      and a tiny bit of Bjork’s swan dress

      • @Biting Panda

        Just a dash, for flavor.

    • It’s not the most coherent collection, is it?

      • formerlyAnon

        Its as if it’s a collaboration of two or three designers. They were all dropped into one of the world’s great art museums and sent off for inspiration, but they went to different galleries. (Very Project Runway, no?)

        I don’t care. The fabrics are so effing gorgeous even when the dresses aren’t to my tastes.

      • jtabz

        Held together with taupe?

        • formerlyAnon

          Brilliant. 😉

        • Brava! 🙂

          • jtabz

            foodycatAlicia & formerlyAnon, thanks for indulging my hopeless punning habit 😉

    • barbarienne

      I chose to see it not as a single collection with lots of different (possibly conflicting) things going on, but more as three or four different collections being presented together. It’s A LOT of pieces.

      It feels as if Valentino wanted to do the scope of the Roman Empire and their trading partners. Wild animals from sub-Saharan Africa (no nuance because the Romans didn’t actually get there; it was all trade), some Byzantine influence, a taste of the far East, simplified togas… I could see the theme in the disparity, if you see what I’m getting at?

      • Well-argued!

      • formerlyAnon

        It really looks like a team effort, or somebody who worried they weren’t going to get to do another collection and wanted to get All The Ideas out there. I don’t care. It’s glorious. Even the ones I don’t like.

      • filmcricket

        Interesting! I’m curious as to where that puts the American Western elements in that case, but I like that your explanation covers at least 90% of this.

        • formerlyAnon

          Just one of those unplanned forays into another gallery that happens when you’re in the museum studying your objets d’inspiration.

        • barbarienne

          I’m not sure what you’re considering the American Western elements? I can see how the fringe might evoke that, but fringe is very African (North and sub-Sahara), so I’m seeing it in that context.

      • I wonder what the music is? The lyrics seem to be Italian which would speak to your theory.

        • barbarienne

          Down below, lrober03 confirms that it is the score to La Traviata.

      • jtabz

        Love your interpretation! (Also kinda love a lot of this, in spite of the unfortunately placed crotch monkeys.)

  • Latin Buddy

    Yikes…and the plot gets lost. TOO literal.

  • amaranth16

    I see a lot of Florence Welsh and a few Keira Knightley – I wouldn’t have thought their styles were close enough for that, but the collection seems to bridge them. Some of this stuff is truly bizarre, though. You know who else would rock some of these? Fan Bing Bing…

    • marlie

      Cate or Tilda, too.

  • lrober03

    I got really excited by the first dress in the collection (the music notes skirt), but was really disappointed that it wasn’t a theme that ran throughout the show (though I did really enjoy the animal theme). It seemed odd to open the show so incongruently.

    • filmcricket

      That’s probably my favourite iteration of the pattern-on-sheer trend in ages. I kind of hope someone lines with an outrageous shade it and wears it to the Grammys.

    • barbarienne

      I wonder what the music is? I googled “fan no qui” (the three words I can make out) and the first hit was the libretto for La Traviata. I wonder if that’s what the music is?

      • lrober03

        It looks like my other comment got eaten, but it’s definitely La Traviata. I saw a picture of the dress from another angle where you could see a few more words, and then I looked in the opera score and matched them up. Mystery solved!

  • Claudia Fernandes

    seems autumn for me

  • pattyw

    This doesn’t particularly scream “spring” and there’s not a whole lot here that I covet for my personal imaginary couture closet, but the craftsmanship is off the charts spectacular.

  • Rand Ortega

    Madagascar 5: The Couture Collection.

  • Glam Dixie

    I don’t think the dresses with the blanket fringe at the bottom are going to translate to or photograph well on the red carpet. And all of the sheers would have benefited by not being sheer. Also wasn’t loving the color pallet.

  • Anna

    There is everything, I mean EVERYTHING in this collection. First up is a deflated-looking redux of Bjork’s infamous swan dress. Next is what Taylor Swift will probably wear to the Grammys this year. Then a mashup of Navajo, The Lion King, The African Queen and the Byzantine empire with a dash of Black Swan.

    Tilda would rock the olive green, jewel-neck (third last) one at Cannes though.

  • formerlyAnon

    Oh my god. It would be worth airfare to Paris just to be in the same room with these and see them move in person. The fabrics! There are perhaps as many looks I don’t much like as those I adore, but overall this is fucking glorious. Most of the ones I don’t like, I’d still line the walls with the fabrics they’re made up with.

    I am particularly fond of the Rousseau-looking applique coats and dress in photos 4 & 6, the pajama coat(?) in 12, the skirt of 3, the coats in the first two photos of the 2nd row of thumbmails, and really, the burden of counting to the correct photo is going to force me to truncate this list now.

    • barbarienne

      THE FABRICS. Right there with you. I would get thrown out and possibly arrested for wanting to touch all of those and maybe rub them on my cheek.

      • formerlyAnon

        Maybe if we promised to wash our grubby plebeian hands first?

        • Lattis

          So with you on the fabrics!

    • Sarah

      I’m with you, formerly. Rousseau indeed! LOVE IT.

    • demidaemon

      I’m very pro the last thirdish of it. The ballerina sheers I am just over in general, so that part didn’t really appeal to me. The gold fabrics are quite luscious.

    • Samantha E

      Rousseau absolutely! The entire collection is made up of pieces of “The Dream”!

  • sagecreek

    Ugh. It’s all way too Marchesa for me, although the lion coat was fun.

    Also, as much as I hate to be THAT POSTER, for an Africa-inspired collection, it struck me as odd that there wasn’t a single model of color. And by odd, I mean inexcusable.

    • marlie

      You weren’t the only one who noticed.

      • Jaeda Laurez

        Sure wasn’t.

    • @Biting Panda

      It’s gross right? The complete and total lacking of human diversity at the really high levels of Fashion? When the designer is telling me, the viewer, that their creations will look their absolute best (as I take it is the job of the models) on stick figure, white girls, only, they lose me as an appreciator.

    • Darcy H

      Right there with you.

    • barbarienne

      There is one in the second half, wearing one of the cultish maxi-dresses. Hello, token black model!

      I can live with maybe saying, “If we put black models in the Africa-theme stuff, it will be too on point,” but there are lots of other things that would have been amazing on models of color. Imagine a very dark-skinned woman in that white music-notes dress. How stunning would that be?

      • sweetestsith

        One black girl, one asian girl, diversity at its finest!

      • BKagainwiththesweatpants

        FOR LUPITA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • barbarienne

          Exactly who I was thinking of. Of course, at this point I think you can put Lupita in a dress made of tea towels and she’ll make it look like something suitable to wear to a coronation.

    • boweryboy


    • Darren Nesbitt

      Some of these look like the african themed rugs at my grandma’s house.

    • theblondette

      Nothing wrong with being THAT POSTER when you are right.

  • marlie

    I love most of the gowns and caftan-like dresses, but the shorter dresses look like they were copied from the Bjork party dress line. Though I’m not sure how I feel about the coats and dresses with the animals on them.

    • Jaeda Laurez

      All swan everything.

    • Imasewsure

      Agreed… those are the things I would prune out of this collection too (although I would send all of those shorties to Bjork first of course)

  • PostsYouCanDanceTo

    Henri Rousseau-esque naive post-impressionism as a (presumed) reference point? Acceptable!
    Henri Rousseau-esque naive post-impressionism on simple. bold pieces and silhouettes? Acceptable!
    Henri Rousseau-esque naive post-impressionism mixed with old-world tulle and voile gowns last seen on a czarina? incongruous!

    Granted, the world of the late 19th/early 20th century modernists really was that incongruous, but it don’t make for a thoughtful collection.
    (I am guessing they were referencing Rousseau and his milieu; seems plausible)

    • formerlyAnon

      I went right to Rousseau on some of them, but I think there are a crap ton of other very direct references, some of which I’m just not well-enough educated to perceive. (Not surprising, I’d expect people involved with design to be more conversant with art & design than am I.)

      • PostsYouCanDanceTo

        You’re definitely right about mult. references. I just only like the Rousseau-esque prints, so i focused on them.

  • SewingSiren

    This is just beautiful. All of it My favorite Couture collection by far. My special favorite being the Garden of Eden, second the musical notes.

    • formerlyAnon

      Yes. I almost feel like a textile museum should be the designated recipient of the Garden of Eden dress, whomever actually wears it (them? Do you imagine there will be multiple?) in the interim.

      • SewingSiren

        How about for Lupita Nyong’o to wear it to the Academy Awards?

        • formerlyAnon

          I’d like to see that!

  • maretha2

    Ooh, so many choices for my next shower curtain!

  • Lilah

    Most of it is beautiful and ethereal, but the Pocahontas and camouflage doesn’t really appeal to me.

  • another_laura

    I really can’t catch the through-line for this as a collection, but there are some really lovely dresses in here. Like other BKs, this isn’t reading “Spring” to me, either, but maybe I’m just too darned literal.

  • Valentino, where workmanship and craft are still Gods. I may not love all of this, but I can only stand in awe of the artistry on display here.

    • formerlyAnon

      Wouldn’t it be fun to be wealthy. “Valentino runway show? Field trip!”

  • oklund

    Wow, I LOVE this. Well, some of this.

  • Diego!

    I’m speechless… this is ART! AMAZING collection! I adored the third dress. Everything is beautiful!

  • GinnyThePainter

    Lion King meets Downton Abbey.

  • TLJezebel

    The lace is exquisite.

  • Jecca2244

    them and Valli…lovely but i don’t see the difference between RTW and couture.

  • prettybigkitty

    The Valentino Home Collection, shower curtains and drapes worn by models.

  • Imasewsure

    Some of this is so beautiful and some of it looks ridiculous. Starts with Bjork and then I’m seeing Diane Kruger in everything the blond model is wearing… the animal picture stuff isn’t working for me at all though… strangely Garanimals to me

  • Katherine Anthony

    Looks like a lot of the designs came straight from Broadway’s production of The Lion King…

  • I like the concept behind a lot of these, but the execution leaves something to be desired (which is a little shocking, considering that it’s Valentino.) The colors are awfully dreary for spring.

  • Kelly

    1. I’m tired of seeing models’ breasts.
    2. Those jungle coats just sing to me. (The lyrics go like this — “We’re really to die for / but you couldn’t buy more / than half a sleeve of us.”)
    3. Bjork was so 2001.
    4. Oddly, I like those plain, long nunnery robes. Non-models probably couldn’t pull them off, though.

    • demidaemon

      I need a Valentino musical with your lyrics.

  • acevedob

    Wow. That was quite a rollercoaster. #3 and #18 remind me of the de Medicis or Borgias. Nevertheless, hated 70% of the pieces. Fail.

  • ballerinawithagun

    A horribly disjointed collection. Some good pieces will come out of this mish mash but right now it is so distracting that I didn’t take the time to look.
    Applique is my specialty. I have never done any applique that rudimentary even when I was first starting out in the business. Julie Taymor may have to sue them for mis-use of the Lion King image.

  • boweryboy

    bjork called. She wants her swan dress back.

    • Pennymac

      I feel the same way. Glad you said it first, though.

  • Ann VerWiebe

    I know it’s a lion but – I’ve got the eye of the tiger… on my crotch!

  • TigerLaverada

    Pretty weird collection. It looks like there were multiple unconnected inspirations: The Lion King, Downton Abbey, Bjork’s swan dress, and Orthodox iconography. Not successful, IMO.

    • Madam Von Sassypants

      I disagree– it looks like it pulls from a lot of medieval/renaissance art/folk art depicting the Garden of Eden. However the music note one makes no sense to me.

      • nowlo

        This collection was inspired by opera. Hence the musical notes (the score to La Traviata) and the overall baroque, over-the-top drama. Each look was inspired by a different opera, which may be why the collection feels a little all over the place. According to various sources, some of the other operas referenced:: Lakmé, an 1883 opera set in India; Aida, an 1871 Verdi opera set in Egypt; Puccini’s La Boheme, Bizet’s Carmen, Wagner’s Lohengrin.

        • Madam Von Sassypants

          Ah! Thanks for elaborating.

        • mmelaprof

          Aaand, sadly, that explains the 19th-century-style exoticism/racism/cultural appropriation. Bummer.

          • nowlo

            Yeah! It’s pretty much inevitable that being inspired by European operas set in ‘exotic’ places like Egypt and India is going to lead to some ham-fisted imagery. This particular collection also sits even more uneasily since Valentino is an Italian house and there have been some notable, ugly incidents of xenophobic racism there lately.

  • RussellH88

    I bet that first dress is making Bjork feel all kinds of vindicated.

  • YoungSally

    Some really nice ideas — and beautiful execution…but the sheer sh*& has to go!!

  • SierraDelta

    How very intriguing that the same hair style works with the disparate elements of the collection.

  • Kent Roby

    I fear for that last model’s crotch; that tiger is ready to attack.

  • RoxieRider

    Stunning, interesting, unexpected, and beautiful. I love this collection.

  • Carolyn

    They’re wearing the rugs sold out of a van from the corner of Tacky and Cheap.

  • Snailstsichr

    I want to see Florence Welch in most of the last half of the collection.

  • allcapsERINN

    So much awesome I could stare at it all day. SPECTACULAR! Sumptuous! Exquisite! I could do without some of the Out of Africa garb, but most of this is the stuff that fashion fairytales are made of!

  • Edit out the ‘Africa inspired’ prints and visible muff. Some of those prints are glorious, but when they’re wrong, they’re WRONG.

  • JaCory Deon

    Feels like three different collections to me;
    1) The Garden of Eden Ballet
    2) The Lion King Broadway
    3) Imperial Russia Behind Glass

    Some of it is quite lovely though while some looks “in-progress” imho.

  • I Mean That in a Good Way

    Well, this answers the question “How will I be styling my nipples this spring?”

  • Meg

    Some are pretty ugly but others are actually beautiful in a 1910s/Downton Abbey updated kind of way.

  • Jean Beaton Leavitt

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  • lalahartma

    I actually like some of these!

  • Synnamin

    SWAN DRESS. I’m sure there was more to the collection, but… SWAN. DRESS. The world needed another swan dress, I guess?

  • sleepycat

    stunning I really like this collection.

  • Trickytrisha

    Three themes here as far as I can see – Casual Friday At A Medieval Convent. Where The Wild Things Are. And Let’s Slyly Cover Tiny Little Nipples With Filmy Fabric, Wink Wink.

  • Nicholas Paganelli

    First collection so far that feels like (fits my imagination of) couture. They had me at heels instead of sneakers.

  • EmilyMullasWilson

    A FINE collection of rugs and drapery! Now, where are the dresses, please?

  • save_the_hobbit

    Love everything but the weird safari-print dresses.

  • Hayley

    Yes, yes, yes.

  • amanda lynn

    Stunning collection.

  • demidaemon

    It goes from sheer dishrags to Pocohontas to classy madam. I like the last third, but everything else seems like a retread.

  • altissima

    A Collection of outfits for Tilda Swinton

  • quiltrx

    This doesn’t feel cohesive to me AT ALL. Too many ideas in the collection, and sometimes too many in one outfit.
    And with the few parts I do like (basically the Russian-esque near the end)…boy, they missed the boat by not having Florence Welch be the final model!

  • CommentsByKatie

    I think the theme of this collection is: Downton Abbey on Safari. Everything is impeccably made and gorgeous, but it’s a little all over the place to me.

  • Garcia Loca

    OMG OMG OMG I’d like one of everything! SO fucking poetic!

  • editrixie

    I can’t say I’m in love with much here, but I do like the midcentury modern feel of a lot of the fabrics and patterns.

  • “One day, Simba, all of this will be yours.”

  • d4divine

    HBC/Maude/vintage on the veranda

  • nycfan

    I’m always thinking how I need a line of clothing that looks like my great grandmother’s lamp shades and sofa.

  • Badriya Al-Badi’a

    I LOVE the Rousseau-esque animals, especially that tiger dress at the end!

  • Qitkat

    Just so I’ve got this straight: the head designer of Valentino (I’m not enough of a clued-in BK to know or care whom that is) comes into the atelier one day, and announces, shit, I have no ideas for next season, so I’m closing my eyes and randomly choosing five of you to create the next spring collection. Each of you go into a locked room with a dozen cutting/sewing/accessory people and don’t come out until you each have a dozen garments finished for the runway. This year we have no theme, and don’t give a shite what the fashion reporters say, we’ll all just smile mysteriously, and allude to something like peacockjungleboudoirballerinaregency inspiration. Now go sweat your balls off while I take off for four months at an undisclosed spa deep in the jungles of Patagonia.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    Looking out my window, now… seeing browns and grays and snowy whites…how wonderful it is to see a Spring collection that looks exactly like Winter.

  • Uhm, sort of interesting-ish? I can see a couple of those on Florence Welch.