I chose Valentino this time because I loved the Fall 2009 collection enough to blog about it after watching The Last Emperor. My thoughts on this collection are not as profoundly positive, but the more I examine it the more it grows on me.
Exhibit B: Valentino, spring/summer 2010:
NEON. My initial reaction to the chartreuse intruder on these otherwise neutral ensembles was ick-no-gross, but because my pre-conceived neon notions were already less than favorable, I've decided to put my pride aside and re-examine from a more subjective viewpoint. I don't hate it... the balance of skin-tone and day-glo (if you have to use it) isn't alarmingly eye-assaulting, and could even be considered tasteful (if you're into that kind of thing). I'm just kind of not. Free-association time: this does remind me of Lite-Brite, which I enjoyed immensely as a child... does anyone else remember that thing?
BODY: Okay, so you know the BODIES exhibit that has been snaking its skinless way through science museums far and wide for a while now? That's immediately what came to mind when these blatantly corporeal dresses appeared before me: # 1: big hunk of bloody muscle; # 2: the fragile flaps of skin that were peeled off to reveal #1; #3: well, obviously, look at all of those veins and capillaries! Do I have to spell it out? This runway segment looks like it was modeled after that very squirm-inducing BODIES exhibit (which I kiiiind of wanted to see because of the fascination factor alone but then kiiiind of psyched myself out of seeing because it's just ... TMI). Well, now I feel as if I've seen it. Thank you, Valentino. Also, that last dress shot my tangential brain waves into the Realm-Of-The-Weird-Obscure-Movies-I-Had-To-Watch-In-Film-Class, where I was once made very uncomfortable by a far-too-avant-garde-even-for-me autobiographical Bob Fosse film, All That Jazz, which involved a strikingly similar veined (literal) bodysuit. I'm going to reserve any real judgment for now because I actually think the delicate construction of these dresses is kind of cool, but I can't overlook the fact that these lovely ladies are walking around with their insides-out.
And finally--the headdresses. Odd plasticky twisted ribbons spiraling upward and outward in a vaguely familiar way: