Valentino, SS16.

Yesterday, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli sent their Spring/Summer 2016 collection for Valentino down the runway, and it was every bit as amazing as seasons past. The collection, was in fact, a nod to the refugees fleeing countries like Senegal, Gambia, Syria etc., with Chiuri stating 'We think every person coming here is an individual, and we show that we can improve ourselves by understanding other cultures.' 'The message,' Piccioli added 'is tolerance. And the beauty that comes out of cross-cultural expression.' Here here!

With a particular focus on Africa when designing this serene and beautiful collection, you'd never guess the very real and fraught situation running underneath the clothes. There was a very clear Italian-African fusion in the collection, Gladiator style leather straps merged with Masai-derived prints and patterns. Aspects of the Haute Couture collection were also evident in this collection: the Roman influence carried through with lace-up sandals with heels carved out of ebony, and toga-like dresses that were dispersed throughout the collection.

As always, texture was a huge part of the collection. Fringing appeared across outerwear, evening wear and separates. Studded leather toughened us the feminine collection and intricate lace was juxtaposed with hard accessories that were reminiscent of the enamel necklaces still worn in African tribes today.

It's no secret that Valentino is a collection I always look forward to each season. See my previous Valentino post here! For those who find the collection controversial, the models walked the runway with cornrows, get over yourself! The clothes were stunning, and at the end of the day that's what fashion is about.

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