At an age where the opulence and splendour of sky-high fashion can seem like an antiquated concept, Valentino delivered a timely lesson in how to stay relevant as it brought the curtain down on Paris haute couture fashion week.
In its core idea, it looked to the past to inform the future. As the show notes explained, ‘The history of haute couture is its reason for being in the present day.’
This Paris haute couture season has brought loose feathers and wildly incompatible colours and a free sense of fantasia, without going down any tiresomely stereotyped princess route. Piccioli was the man who nailed it, simply by introducing the idea that couture can also mean trousers (though possibly in dusty pink or turquoise moire silk), an oh-so-easy foil for the grandmotherly ornamentation of a sweeping ’50s opera coat or a ’60s tunic cocktail top.
Piccioli is a walking contradiction, to be precise. He is a down-to-earth dreamer. The fantasy excited in him as a boy by seeing glamorous magazine photographs of ’50s-through-‘80s haute couture is balanced by his equal respect for the people who dedicate their skills to making every piece materialise.
This Italian designer, Pierpaolo Piccioli seeks to combine craftsmen tradition with synchronic ideas. His collection harked back to the bygone allure yet keeping it within modern dress codes.
The Valentino show held in Paris’s chic Hotel Salomon de Rothschild as a dainty salon show – ‘as it used to be done’ – saw an agenda of fashion’s new modelling guard, including It-girl Kaia Gerber, showcasing a tribute to taffeta topped off with a gigantic bow.