Folk costumes were the inspiration for Valentino’s Fall Winter 2012 collection, judging by the images of women in native dresses on Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli’s mood board. A key point of reference would be the full, ankle-length coat that was densely woven with a myriad colourful threads to form a somewhat linear interpretation of a navajo-esque pattern. Thrown into the mix was there also a long-sleeved dress with the same Navajo-esque pattern. But this time, the conservativeness of the skirt that went straight all the way down lent a very Asian, Nepalese flavour to it.

valentino-fall-winter-2012-women-2

The sweet, feminine silhouettes that defined their Spring/Summer collection made a welcome reprisal, surprisingly still fresh, which does say quite something about the foresight and longevity of the duo’s creations, in an industry that spits as quickly as it chews.

valentino-fall-winter-2012-women-5

The demure long-sleeved, knee-length dresses that is fast becoming a new Valentino signature was given the slight embellishment treatment, from being dotted with crystals to the feature of macrame seams and passementerie details. From observation, I’d say that between them, they’ve got a system going that’s working pretty darn well.

valentino-fall-winter-2012-women-1

Black leather, more often the home turf of rock chic and biker chicks was used not to reference that, but managed to give new life and edge to the otherwise purely feminine silhouettes. The butter-soft nature of the leather used allowed the garment to move fluidly together with the wearer, allowing for long-sleeved, waist-length tops and full-leather jumpsuits that didn’t feel constrained in the least. Shoes were low-heeled, round-toed and grounded, with the only embellishment being thin ankle straps.

After perusing, I’d say this is one of my favourite Fall Winter 2012 collections. I liked its balance of elegance, demureness, modesty and edge, and the authenticity of a woman who dresses not to impress, but is comfortable enough in her own skin not to have to reveal too much of it.

Images: Valentino