I really hesitate to write this, but I'm just so intrigued by the whole thing, and the more I think about it, the more I want to discuss it. Most of you probably know that I have another blog I do called Fashioned. It started as a way to discuss the runway looks I like with some friends, and although I don't keep it up as well as I could, I do try, especially with the Couture collections, which are my favorites. I have only one rule there, which I stick to pretty closely, and that is: If I don't like something, I don't put it up and ridicule it. I generally just ignore it and move on to something I do like. I look for not only entire looks I like, but also sometimes just one small part of a look appeals to me, and I mention it and ignore the rest. Not surprisingly, I tend to look at things from a sewing point of view, and I'll discuss an interesting sleeve or hem or whatever.
So, I was working my way through the Fall 2008 shows last week, and one of my favorites each season is Valentino. Of course Valentino himself retired after the Spring 2008 show, so this was the first show completely designed and overseen by Alessandra Facchinetti. She did a lot of beautiful things, and I've read several serious reviews of the show, and no one has mentioned what caught my attention. When looking at the close-up photos of various ensembles, I noted details that were not perfect.
Even now I read that and think, how petty. But really, what is the couture if not an exercise in dreams and perfection? Of course I'm sure there are many less-than-perfect garments in the various couture collections, but we don't see them as a rule. What 'mistakes' there are, are not visible to the naked eye, or at least not in photographs. They just do not send less-than-perfect items down that runway, and honestly, they shouldn't, if only because their price-point depends on the maintenance of the couture mystique, which demands perfection, or at least so close to perfection that imperfections become unnoticeable. So how did these things escape the quality control that I know they have in the Valentino workroom? Who decided they were "good enough"? Is anyone else disappointed, or am I being silly? I know that things that I make will probably always have one or more things that are not quite right. One strives for perfection of course, but usually one settles for a pleasing overall impression, with no glaringly obvious faults. This is often achievement enough, but with a complete workroom full of highly skilled experts who have been turning out apparent perfection collection after collection for Valentino himself, right up to a few months ago, how did this happen? That's what has me baffled.
I'll go ahead and post some of the things that caught my eye. Let me know what you all think.
All photos in this post are courtesy of Style.com, and you can find the complete Valentino show referenced here.
This jacket is lovely, but look at the collar point on the left side of the photo. You can see more in the close-up below, but it looks to me like it doesn't match the right side in the way it stands.
This suit has lots of detail front and center, and you can see in the photo below that things just aren't quite as straight and even as they should be, from the center angled piece to the welt pocket that's a little wavy.
This is a portion of an embellished satin evening coat. Beautiful, and a very difficult fabric, but isn't that a pretty big pucker at the bottom of the zipper?
There are so many beautiful and seemingly perfect things in this collection, and I don't want you to think this isn't the case, but I've just been almost worried by the problems I've pointed out. So, am I silly or too picky or what?