Valentino's creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli presented the Valentino Spring/Summer collection on 27 January, as Paris' Haute Couture Fashion Week drew to a close. Models strutted down the catwalk barefoot, showcasing a collection with heavy Byzantine and Japanese influences, designed to promote the body, movement and beauty.
Column dresses, kimono-style coats and overlapping tunics were decorated with animal patterns, embroidery and encrusted jewels. Heavy velvets were juxtaposed with silk and light chiffon, while the fluid shapes of the designs contrasted with the chunky headpieces and statement jewellery.
The earthy tones of the collection on show epitomised the designers' vision of a free and independent woman finding 'earthly contact' in a chaotic world. The lack of footwear played on the idea of being in touch with nature, while gold metal sculptured around the models' ankles was a subtle nod to Valentino's recurrent gladiator theme.