Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli's first collection for Valentino walks today in Paris. Vava himself released a statement to confirm that he had no hand in designing the collection. He's apparently tired of people speculating that he's been meddling with design at the label since he retired a year ago. "If I decide to attend the presentation of their collection, it will only be as a supporter of two people I love and who have been close to me for many years," he said.
This is a great sign for the design duo. Valentino never said anything so nice about Alessandra Facchinetti, who only lasted a few months as creative director at the label before her unceremonious dismissal just after her spring 2009 show. When asked about her talent a year ago, Vava would only say, "I've met her. She's pretty." Just after she left the house, Valentino said what he really thought: "[Chiuri and Piccioli] always demonstrated an enormous respect and love for my work. There is an existing archive with thousands of dresses where they can draw and take inspiration from to create a Valentino product that is relevant today. It is a shame that their predecessor didn't feel this need."
So Chiuri and Piccioli should last a while. No pressure or anything, guys.
A Valentino No No [British Vogue]