After Maria Grazia Chiuri’s departure to Dior, Pierpaolo Piccioli is solo at Valentino. One thing’s sure – it’s not the same Valentino we used to know during the couple’s creative co-operation. With Chiuri, Valentino was darker, and heavier in embroidery; seeing Piccioli’s first “all by myself” collection embeds a lighter vision of the brand. Although spring-summer 2017’s mood-board is covered with Hieronymus Bosch artworks and Reneissance-era obsessions, Pierpaolo’s woman is thinking about grunge and 70s West-London love affair. To prove the latter, the creative director collaborated on prints with one-and-only Zandra Rhodes (whose influence was coined by Luella Bartley of Hillier Bartley this season, too). The effect? I can’t remind myself a Valentino show, which was filled with so much joy. Just look at those jackets! Of course, old clients will find a range of beautifully embellished dresses and skirts. But Pierpaolo also introduced a kind of à la Céline softness to the brand, which will surely appeal to the young. I nearly forgot about the colour palette – from killer fuchsia-pink to refreshing lime-green, there are many reasons to fall in love with the (not so) new Valentino.
Surprisingly, Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier decided to reveal their newest collection during the schedule time of Paris Fashion Week, temporarily leaving behind the idea of see it now, buy it now they did in previous seasons. So, what’s Hillier Bartley like for spring-summer 2017? The designers’ eternal love for 70s West London bohemia is oozing in every single piece of this look-book. Discussing their inspirations, Luella named everyone from Zandra Rhodes to David Hockney, who were the quintessence of colour, partying and fashion back in the times. It’s absorbing to see how these two female designers evolve during their design process, and succeed in keeping it true to their style. Hillier Bartley classics? Best expressed in seasonless kimono jackets, high-waisted pants and fringed scarves.
If other designers focused so much on consistency, their collections would instantly become monotonous. At Hillier Bartley, consistency is a base for having true, fashion fun. For spring, we’ve got Savile Row-inspired tailoring, all covered in multi-colour ostrich feathers; those thick knit sweaters (a continuation of autumn-winter 2016) became even softer with fluffy, purple fur sleeves; loosely fit, pink shirt was a nod to David Bowie’s style. Hillier Bartley isn’t about styling, though – if you separate the clothes from the looks, they appear to be (slightly eclectic) essentials of your on-the-go, everyday gear.
Also, take a look at Katie’s accessories (this time, accompanied by Manolo Blahnik’s different-colour suede pumps) in the season’s bold fuchsia and orange accents. From illustrated clutches with tassel charms to paperclip earrings and signature bunny-bags, Hillier Bartley wardrobe welcomes brilliant, new additions.