There was a moment during the Valentino show when the bel canto soprano of O Mio Babbino Caro reached its peak and the sheer beauty of the collection and everything that surrounded it formed the kind of immaculate synthesis that made you forget you were sitting in a sweltering tent in the Tuileries, exhausted from weeks of shows and constant impressions. So ravishing was the Valentino collection that most guests wouldn’t have minded finishing the show season on that epic note, with those breathtaking ornate, romantic Roman dresses etched on their retina.
It was in the costume department of the Rome Opera that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli found the inspiration for their ceremonious and effervescent collection, which drew on the embellishment of Ancient Roman jewellery and ornamentation in its portrayal of operatic might. With its vibrancy of rich embroidery and print it was loud, but with the serene float of the opulent dresses it had a beautiful calm to it, which made it seem just right. The meeting between Chiuri and Piccioli’s religious, almost virginal aesthetic and the tribal luridness, which was a natural addition to the Classical Antiquity theme, was a match made in heaven. It created a kind of harmony that made the season’s nearly one hundred shows completely worthwhile.