Valentino’s Experimental Ritual
by Giampietro Baudo - MFFashion
“In a moment of great technological rationalisation, I wanted spirituality, something sacred...the sacred realized through rites and rituals, similar to what happens in high fashion. There we go, perhaps this was the starting point for this collection.” Pierpaolo Piccioli outlines the beginning of the Valentino Haute Couture collection - from here telling the story of an experimental high fashion. Starting with the ancient in order to speak about modernity. Starting from an apparent chaos and becoming a new type of chic, a subtle type. A murmuring daywear and an eveningwear that oscillates between monastic intimacy and masterful opulence. “Getting dressed is the most important ritual in the sacred world and today, getting dressed - above all in couture - starts with an intimate choice on how to represent oneself,” Piccioli told MFF. “Haute Couture is everything you don’t see. Couture is kind of un-contemporary because we are in an age where everything has to be visible whereas couture is rich on the inside. Because the privilege of high fashion is hidden in the secrets of the construction of each piece.”
Playing with the concept of the season is the start of a true revolution that feels avant-garde, above all when this involves the rigid rules of the atelier. “I tried to break the codes of high fashion, taking away the idea that everything has to be united and hang together...trying to explore a new concept that comes through in wrong volumes and unorthodox colours that when put together have their own charm.” Pierpaolo Picciolo adds, revealing a composition in which everything appears incorrect, wrong. In a chaos that creates a new order, with an arty undercurrent, like the works of Francisco de Zurbarán, whose portraits tried to reconfigure Saints and Martyrs, attempting to erase all human aspects, elevating them to a unique dimension. Piccioli’s colours, textures and precious details create a new fall/winter. Accompanied by seven mini clutch bags by Harumi Klossowska, animalesque figures representing the seven deadly sins. In a game between the sacred and the profound, a theme that runs throughout a show filled with celestial faced girls, their ear lobes decorated with drops of blood red agate. In front of cascades of colourful wax, on a floor of cardinal violet, out comes the purist daywear, free from any kind of embellishment. Where the only frivolity is in the layering of the hues, simple pieces in extreme colours. A look that is carefully constructed, wide trousers, oversize shirts, gigantic gilets, micro-shoulders, maxi trenches. All in luxuriously refined materials. The same minimalist solemnity also invades part of the eveningwear. Black and monastic in velvet tunics, dramatic capes or Franciscan dresses in raw silk. From brocade to non-brocade created using compositions of medals, broderie and luxuriously indulgent materials. Eveningwear slowly becomes lighter, architectural shapes crafted out of bundles of chiffon, animated by arabesque sumptuousness. Filled with light volumes and sumptuousness, seen in flying turbans of chiffon or enlightened by a cascade of glass fringing.