A Garden of Eden in cyberworld. That was the central conceit that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli worked up for their third Valentino
couture show. The influence of Avatar
—the blue-sprayed shoulders—and the urge to make something modern out of barely there chiffon seemed the twin driving forces behind the collection. There was little continuity here with either their first heavily structured show or the second one, done almost entirely in black lace. Yet the contradiction between wispy draping and fantasy-tribal styling (a Rodarte-led thread that a couple of designers have picked up this week) was a topical enough device to make the collection seem current. Although Chiuri and Piccioli are now clearly addressing a wildly different world from the one Valentino held entranced, there were pieces that showcased the house's skill base. A couple of wrapped, draped chiffon dresses (one done in brick red in memory of Valentino tradition) and a jacket with black patches jigsawed onto a base of near-invisible flesh-colored georgette were youthful in the way this label needs to be if it's going to attract new clients.