September 04, 2013
Before the collection's unveiling in New York, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri weighed in on this season's story over e-mail from Italy. Inspired by "a sense of wonder and curiosity," the designers went whimsical, calling on ballerinas, butterflies, and blooms to set the fanciful tone. Soft cotton leotards and leggings paired with frothy point d'esprit tutu skirts were a nod to the innocent girl the design duo is courting this season, albeit one with enough moxie to hold her own in signature Valentino bows, embroideries, and full-on flower prints. A peplum bustier in hemp lent a grounded, earthy feel to a meringue of a skirt, and a crisp black and white gingham looked refreshingly clean against a sensual floral motif. Decidedly playful, this outing certainly skewed young, but a closer look revealed beautiful, grown-up touches—like a subtle thistle print woven into a knit top and embroidered leather flowers on the collar of a monochrome coat—that are sure to appeal to those in full bloom.