Valentino: Love is in the air
A love story, the theme of the latest Valentino collection, but also one between the audience and the house’s designer Pierpaolo Piccioli, who was greeted with ecstatic scenes when he took his bow Sunday evening in Paris.
After a Valentino show where classical images, pop paeans and literary expressions of love were the leitmotif in a highly refined women’s ready-to-wear collection. Presented, as in recent seasons, in a largely transparent tent in the 7th arrondissement, affording views of the drizzly Paris skyline and the cupola of Les Invalides.
The mood set by a massive word sculpture from the dashing Scottish text artist Robert Montgomery, which read: "The people you love become like ghosts inside of you and like this you keep them alive."
The program was a book entitled Valentino on Love, with short poems and texts by Montgomery, Greta Bellamacina, Yrsa Daley-Ward and Mustafa the Poet.
The opening look, and indeed a good third of the passages, featured images of a besotted couple. A giant-sleeved swing coat with two neoclassical nudes in full embrace, surrounded by giant Photoshop images of rosebuds; the same composition appearing on the next passage, except printed onto a crepe blouse with tulip sleeves. Created by Jun Takahashi of Undercover, the images also appeared on felt wool tops, and even on a large beige trench coat.
Piccioli also stamped massive rose prints onto silk tunics; and trimmed everything from felty cabans to capes with texts from edited books of poetry. Colossal butterflies encircled and fêted the love-struck boys and girls.
Illustrations of naked Pop Art lovers kissed on – you will forgive the pun – kissing pink mini cocktails or flared little black dresses.
There was a palpable sense of anticipation pre-show, as several regiments of wealthy young socialites and influencers took their seats – practically all of them dressed head to toe in Valentino. The astutely selected cast marched with great assurance, done with chignon hairstyles and eyeliner of pale blue, rose and tangerine.
"Love is the bond that connects all," read the program notes of Pierpaolo, who finished his collection with a series of rippling and ruffled semi-sheer chiffon gowns.
The Roman couturier took an extended bow around the four runways, dashing between women desperate for a public acknowledgement. Love was very much in the air.
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