Historically, the couture runway is the place where we go to watch designers' wildest dreams and ideas become material. Although there has been no shortage of awe-inspiring couture shows in recent seasons, we're having trouble thinking of a more beautiful, breathtaking presentation, than the one Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino's creative director, presented on Wednesday in Paris. As soon as the videos from the show started hitting our Instagram, we knew Piccioli had gone to another level entirely (have you ever audibly gasped from scrolling your feed?).
The magical floating feather hats that moved through the air like so many jellyfish in the ocean and the expansive color palette both made us think of Flemish Renaissance paintings and artists like Jan Van Eyck — and also Dr. Seuss. But what made it truly special was that underneath the voluminous silhouettes and extravagant millinery that usually makes these looks purely red-carpet fodder, there were actually wearable — dare we say casual — clothes; oversized sweaters, wide-legged trousers, and thin knits all made with the level of craftsmanship and materials that befit a couture collection.
Here, see 14 of the most gloriously extra looks Piccioli sent down the runway.