Valentino’s imperial triumph in Paris
It felt like the triumph of a Roman general, greeted by the emperor when Pierpaolo Piccioli took his bow at Sunday evening’s Valentino. In the midst of a standing ovation, the house’s father Valentino Garavani embraced Piccioli like a general returning from conquest in a distant land.
For a triumph, it was what this was. Piccioli’s fusion of active sports, menswear and grand romance came together to create a fresh fashion statement.
From sports, the triple layer elongated tops, mixes of cotton, mesh, silk and lycra – many of them dusted in silver paillettes – and worn with small clutches attached with mountaineer’s straps.
And if you want mono-color then grab the superb series of ruffled looks at the finale, like the pure Little Black Dress worn by Kaia Gerber as she rounded off a splendid evening section.
All anchored by Roman sandals in the house’s signature Rock Stud or river running sneakers with diamanté star patterns.
Or consider his mannish parkas, cut with multiple pockets and straps and zips, and finished with sequins. Just like Piccioli’s mood board backstage, containing everything from Paolo Uccello to the Moon landings, images had large sequins glued onto them, and even a red and blue neon circle attached.
In a season of assemblage, Pierpaolo Piccioli's are the subtlest, and rare in that they look designed to flatter the client, not make her suitable for the hungry pack of hundreds of wannabe photographers who feed Instagram outside each show.
A backstage packed with major retailers – their eyes beaming towards the cash registers that will ring out from this elegant and commercial collection.
“I am very happy and could not be more proud. Super proud to see this beautiful show in my house,” beamed Valentino backstage as he embraced Piccioli.
An emperor giving a very public imprimatur to his successor. Piccioli now occupies a very unique position in fashion in that he is a hit in the three key disciplines. His Valentino menswear is highly influential. His couture stunningly refined. And this women’s ready-to-wear collection was a huge hit. This is Piccioli’s season. Nobody right now betters him.
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