Monday, July 9, 2007


Sienna's shooting his ads, everyone's partying with him in Rome, it's his 45th anniversary... and then you have the whole "is he or isn't he retiring?" debate. We're all getting worked up over Valentino these days, and I'm not sure why. He makes beautiful clothes and gorgeous gowns, but let's be honest here -- today, he's dressing ladies who lunch rather than changing the face of fashion in any kind of avant-garde way.

After everyone settled down a bit after Dior's big couture celebration, it seems like they all moved on to Valentino. To be honest, his couture show irritated me. We had the classic uptown suits and (obviously) a stretch of his trademark red dresses, but the pieces that stood out from the collection all seemed familiar to me... as in, inspired (knocked off?) from standout pieces from other runways.

Above and on the left is Valentino couture. Above and on the right: Proenza Schouler, fall 2007. Everyone was talking about this Proenza Schouler dress and the trompe l'oeil (tricking the eye) effect of the detailing. Hm.

Above and on the left, Valentino. On the right is Givenchy 's couture collection for spring 2007. A totally different dress, obviously, but that big round banding around the bottom is strikingly similar. Like the Proenza Schouler, the Givenchy gown was one of the standout pieces in that collection, and has graced many a magazine spread -- not the subtlest piece to take inspiration from.

Again, Valentino's on the left, and this time it's Donna Karan fall 2007 on the right. This isn't so much of a Donna Karan knockoff, because that sliver of acid yellow was on almost every fall runway, not just hers. It's the color of the season, we know, we know -- I guess I'd just expect to see Valentino staying away from something so glaringly trendy.

Above left, Valentino. Above right, Marchesa spring 2007 -- an oldie, as far as fashion goes. Remember when Sienna Miller wore the Marchesa rosette dress? Remember when Anne Hathaway wore the Marchesa rosette dress? Remember how everyone wore that Marchesa rosette dress? Valentino, why are you now making a rosette dress?

Valentino's above left, and on the right, a Hussein Chalayan dress from ages ago. The color, the volume -- sure, Chalayan's got no trademark on it, but that dress is a relatively important piece in the scheme of fashion. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw Valentino's frothy pink cape, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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