Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli after Valentino

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Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli after Valentino


In one of the most talked about fashion splits this year, the two former heads of Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, took the industry by surprise with their change in directions; Chiuri becoming the first female artistic director at Dior, while Piccioli remained to head Valentino on his own. Both directors sent out their first solo collections this season, received by audiences filled with anticipation and curiosity – while both directors are unquestionably talented, and both houses established and popular in their own rights, such drastic changes are rarely uninteresting.

Chiuri offered a collection in black and white, filled with the sporting influences of fencing uniforms, tulle skirts, and later intricate embroidery. With a novel interpretation, the collection is made cool, sexy, and youthful – while maintaining the house’s characteristics, Chiuri brought out pieces that will make the hearts of street-style enthusiasts throb, and still call to the romantics who value the femininity and classic shapes of the house. The influence of her work at Valentino is not lost, though – the last several pieces ring out loudly of her former work. “I think the real difference is that I am a [woman],” Chiuri told Business of Fashion on Friday. “I think that in any case, now the women are completely different than [in the ‘50’s]. The women now they want, they don’t want that someone dress [them], they want to decide, like, they want to show themselves with the dress, it’s a different approach.”


Piccioli, on the other hand, maintained the long, romantic shapes of the house, the detailed tulle and velvet panels fans have come to recognize. The collection seems both lighter and brighter than the one presented for the previous Spring/Summer season, incorporating controlled ‘70’s details and patterns to match the flowing shapes. “What’s important for me is to preserve an aesthetic that I have always liked, a certain taste that was formed by a journey, and that will continue because it is tied to me, and also to Valentino and the way in which I interpret Valentino,” Piccioli stated in an interview with The New York Times published Saturday.



Overall, the reviews for each collection displayed combined relieved and excitement – neither director had crashed and burned; neither collection misrepresented its house, and both seemed to please the viewers. The quick change of position gave Chiuri and Piccioli only a few short months to create collections for this season, adding greater weight to their accomplishments. Other houses in transition this season could not claim such success, but the dedication and talent of Chiuri and Piccioli – not to mention that of their colleagues at Dior and Valentino – shone through.


Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli after Valentino

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Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.

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