Red Valentino's Renaissance

Art, architecture, fashion, politics, philosophy...everything changed during the Renaissance. It was a time of transition that spanned across centuries and borders, bringing Europe into a modern era as it left the Gothic and Medieval behind.
Portrait of Maria de' Medici by Bronzino 1550s
With Florentine families like the Medici family leading the charge in politics, business and the arts, the Renaissance flourished. Hundreds of years later, their legacy remains for many things, including acting as patrons for great artists like Botticelli and BronzinoRevolutionary changes were made during the Renaissance, so its influence is bound to show up as it did in the Red Valentino Fall 2017 collection. 


A touch of the High Renaissance is seen with the snake detailing on the handbags in the collection. With a snake crossing over the torso as the purse strap, it’s almost a mirror image of Botticelli’s 
painting of Simonetta Vespucci, the great beauty from Florence. 
The snake winding around Simonetta’s necklace has various interpretations including a symbol of her wisdom or her early death. Could the snake from Red Valentino mean something similar? 

With the use of rich colors and heavy brocades that have a flat or boxy quality, the Red Valentino collection alludes to the Mannerist period of the Renaissance. 
Styles of the time were characterized by heavy garments, angular lines and full coverage for women.

Though likely a knit fabric, the treatment of quilting and patchwork in the above dress creates a stiff effect that is much like the brocades.

Portrait of Eleanora of Toledo by Bronzino, 1543
Women's gowns often had squared necklines, as seen in here with the use of contrasting fabrics on the chest to hint at the geometric shape.

A bit of menswear inspiration is seen in the outwear of the collection. The black boxy like forms resemble The Portrait of a Young Man. 
The ruffle and gathering details mimic the texture of the slashing technique of the Renaissance, where outer fabric was slashed to allow the under layer to show through.

Perfect for cold weather, some of the dresses have a fur lined collar. The flowing lines and combination with the collar could have found inspiration in the long gowns and wide fur collars that older men of the Renaissance would wear. 
The references in the Red Valentino designs vary across decades, genders and classes from the Renaissance. But the collection proves the cyclical nature of fashion and how the old continues to inspire the new.

Runway Photos: Vogue.com

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