Pierpaolo Piccioli makes people get emotional (and Celine Dion shed tears of joy) over his couture. Does his ready-to-wear for Valentino spark the same reactions? Pretty much yes. His autumn-winter 2019 collection was an ode to love. A theme that might be so easily clichéd in fashion got beautifully poetic on Piccioli’s runway. “I feel that people are looking for emotion and dreams—but not distant dreams,” he said today before the show. “I want to create a community for Valentino. I mean something different from ‘lifestyle,’ which is about owing objects. It’s about people who share values.” Valentino’s community has many faces, and this season Pierpaolo made them even more vocal. First, the choice of models who walk the Valentino runway as of late utterly cement the normalisation of inclusive casting. You’ve got Adut Akech open the show in a voluminous coat, and Maria Carla Boscono wear a gorgeous black gown. Then, we’ve got artistic individuals that leave their mark on Piccioli’s fashion. Jun Takahashi of Undercover started collaborating with Valentino’s menswear last season, and his contribution goes on here as well. This time the designers morphed together a print of a 19th-century neoclassical sculpture of kissing lovers with an image of roses. It appeared on pretty much everything, and wasn’t necessarily a subtle detail. And then there are the poets. Poetry in fashion always seemed to be a good idea just in case of Ann Demeulemeester and her long-time friend, Patti Smith. In case of Valentino, the concept wasn’t overly intellectual or profound, but digestible for the eye. Picciolli commissioned the Scottish poet and artist Robert Montgomery and the three young writers – Greta Bellamacina, Mustafa The Poet and Yrsa Daley-Ward – to contribute to a slim volume, Valentino on Love, which was left on seats for the audience. An illuminated billboard with lines by Montgomery stood at the end of the runway, reading, “The people you love become ghosts inside of you and like this you keep them alive.” The words carried on to live in Piccioli’s designs and the lines were printed (or embroidered) inside coats, tulle dresses, inside of bags and boots. In terms of fashion, this was a line-up of incredible matchings. An orange jacket with feathers was worn over a hoodie – refined, yet fresh. There were as many couture-ish silhouettes (like the yellow cape-coat or the finale dresses) as sublime daywear (think soft tailoring, flared mid-lenght skirts and classical little black dresses). Love’s in the air, in every single aspect.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough are the boys, who for years defined the contemporary chic of New York’s fashion scene. Hearing about their unexpected departure to Paris last season was quite a surprise. Everybody asked: what will New York fashion week be like without Proenza Schouler? Well, one thing’s sure – the Big Apple undoubtedly sobs that it didn’t witness one of the couples’ strongest and most beautiful collections.
But why Paris? And why so early for spring-summer 2018, while it will be presented by other labels in September? First, the brand decided to expand its recognition internationally, as Paris, not New York, is the place where all eyes look at. Second, the designers decided to dissolve the pre- and main-collection into one, consistent line-up, leaving more space (and time) for their intimate, creative process. Vetements done it, with success; Burberry has a similar business model; Rodarte, which presented its collection the same day in the French capital, takes the same risk this season.
But lets talk about the clothes, which in the end are the most important. As I’ve mentioned earlier, that was a truly impressive collection. Form low skirts and ready-for-everything blazers to statuesque ruffled dresses and stark red florals, Lazaro and Jack searched for a balance between arty edginess and comfortable elegance. Wait, we’re in Paris, just on time for haute couture shows – this explains the last looks, pimped up by the local petites mains. Looking like moving fluffy clouds from a distance, those were intricately inserted feathers on Sasha Pivovarova’s art gallery owner jacket or Mariacarla Boscono’s show-stopping evening dress à la Black Swan. Actually, each look is worth a paragraph. Also, please take a look at the low-heeled shoes with pointy-toes, kept in simple black or embellished with colourful beads. An instant need.
I think that a warm ‘bienvenue’ is the right term to greet Proenza Schouler at their new, European home!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki (backdrop: combination of different installations and artworks by Kate MccGwire).
Publication: Vogue Japan September 2014
Models: Saskia de Brauw, Tao Okamoto, Malgosia Bela, Mariacarla Boscono, Natasha Poly, Carolyn Murphy, Eva Herzigova, Guinevere van Seenus, Karen Elson, Maggie Rizer, Claudia Schiffer, Nadja Auermann, Stephanie Seymour, Linda Evangelista & Naomi Campbell
Photographer: Iango Henzi + Luigi Murenu
Fashion Editor: Giovanna Battaglia
This editorial is celebrating 25 years of Vogue Japan. And at the same time, it’s one of the most powerful shoots ever done in the fashion industry.