After Maria Grazia Chiuri’s departure to Dior, Pierpaolo Piccioli is solo at Valentino. One thing’s sure – it’s not the same Valentino we used to know during the couple’s creative co-operation. With Chiuri, Valentino was darker, and heavier in embroidery; seeing Piccioli’s first “all by myself” collection embeds a lighter vision of the brand. Although spring-summer 2017’s mood-board is covered with Hieronymus Bosch artworks and Reneissance-era obsessions, Pierpaolo’s woman is thinking about grunge and 70s West-London love affair. To prove the latter, the creative director collaborated on prints with one-and-only Zandra Rhodes (whose influence was coined by Luella Bartley of Hillier Bartley this season, too). The effect? I can’t remind myself a Valentino show, which was filled with so much joy. Just look at those jackets! Of course, old clients will find a range of beautifully embellished dresses and skirts. But Pierpaolo also introduced a kind of à la Céline softness to the brand, which will surely appeal to the young. I nearly forgot about the colour palette – from killer fuchsia-pink to refreshing lime-green, there are many reasons to fall in love with the (not so) new Valentino.