© 2020 Tara Deighton

  • Tara Deighton

Valentino at Swan Lake


Anyone who knows me, even slightly, knows how much I love Valentino! I could not have thought it possible to love the label anymore, until of course Valentino went to the Ballet! As a thwarted ballet dancer (honestly, even the hippo's in Fantasia could out pirouette me!), I'm immensely sentimental about a career in Ballet I could never have.

The Autumn/Winter 2016/17 show was really an exemplary display of exactly why Valentino is so wonderful. Almost a homage to ballerinas who have danced the iconic roles of Odette and Odile, the inner ballerina in me jeted for joy as I watched the collection live on the Valentino site.

Using a mostly neautral palette with shots of chartruese and emerald, a very modern Black Swan stomped down the catwalk- Valentino accessories are nearly as wonderful as the clothes- the ballet slipper styled boots a case en pointe!

As a designer of Bridalwear, there was so much to be inspired by. As always the wonderful embellishments on tulle and gossamer like chiffons are doubly striking with the very clean and lean sillhouettes.The embellished silks look light and airy, echoing ballet themes from the ballet Russes and Bakst. Somehow, the embellishments, whilst opulent, always seem simple and restrained, which is a design sensibility I share.

I especially loved the metallic embroideries mixed with floral appliques that scatter across the tulle ballet style dresses. The use of luxurious fabrics and incredible craftsmanship are yet another reason for my deep love for the brand. I spend many hours hand sewing laces and silks and appreciate the skill, care and gazillions of hours that go into making each piece.

There were so many wearable pieces within the collection, which is rare in such a highly priced designer brand, but my favourite was the white ruffled wrap dress with fur shrug. It put me in mind of a very modern Odette, on her way to marry the Prince, having reigned in the Black Swan, her darker and far more naughty alter ego.

I may not ever dance Swan Lake at Sadlers Wells, but I will be knitting myself a ballet style wrap cardigan as soon as I find some cashmere to knit with and wearing my classic ballet flats throughout this year and well into the next!

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