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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Valentino: Poetry in motion

Day Four — Valentino

29 Января 2015


“We are trying to describe love,” said the Valentino duo backstage, as though it were the easiest thing in the world to thread life’s deepest emotions into fabric for a fashion show. 

The story that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli put together was also about the artist Marc Chagall, his Russian background, his Jewish heritage, and his ability to put all that together into the lightness of passing clouds. 


The audience often has to suspend disbelief at Valentino creations from the current designers. But there were few arcane ideas at this show, which effectively closed the brief Paris haute couture season. 

Instead there was beauty in clothes with folklore patterns and often simple, sporty shapes. So for daytime, the look could seem more Seventies boho than classic grandeur. 

The evening clothes were more intense. As well as haute handwork, there was rich velvet fabric and a historic elegance. It was sometimes essential to have an open mind at a shearling bodice for the summer worn with a long skirt. 


This season, there was beauty in these long dresses, often intensely decorated. But there were other chapters and verses: lighter dresses that acted as a canvas to simple, pure words such as ‘amore’ – love – or that most famous of Latin phrases: ‘Amor vincit omnia’ – Love conquers all. 

It is to the credit of these designers that the sweet Italian music, the young models with flowers in their hair, and messages embroidered as decoration, created a moment when fashion became the still centre of a turning world.


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