The write-ups of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collections are always very technical, laying out the careful thought she puts into each show in a way that can often be more interesting than the clothes themselves. This year’s was meant as an homage to haute couture as a team effort, which Vogue notes is such a subtle reference point that we’re likely meant not to see it, which only underscores it more:

A long ecru cashmere cape was pieced together with embroidery— not plain stitching—so invisible it looked as if the entire shape had been knitted in one piece. […] And to illustrate how embroidery can construct an entire silhouette, she produced the kicky geometric draw-string jumpsuit with crystal and jet tubing that opened the show. Watching it live, you’d have no idea that this was Chiuri’s premise for the collection, which only served to prove her point. So, to underline her theme, she decked out her show space in the garden of the Musée Rodin in highly graphic, gorgeous embroidered tapestries created by the artists Madhvi and Manu Parekh and hand-made by Chanakya, the school of crafts in India—with whom Chiuri always works—which educates women in generational crafts such as specialized embroidery. It took 380 artisans 280,000 hours to embroider the 340-square-meter installation, which will be open to the public from January 25 to 30 as an ephemeral art exhibition.

While a large, campy overarching theme certainly can swallow a collection whole, at times I found this mostly monochrome collection boring, and now I feel a little badly about it. I suppose it lives in the space that’s always lost in translation, from in-person to photograph. But at least the set was fantastic.

[Photos: Imaxtree]