The Fall/Winter 2021 collection from Valentino showcased in Milan at Il Piccolo Teatro seemed more like a fashion show made for the melancholy Dane. Dimmed stage lights, an empty auditorium and fashion attire fit for a Shakespearean actor – it was a dark soliloquy. If the cold empty stage did not remind us of the pandemic and put you in a depressing mood, Australian singer Cosima performing Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2U” would definitely have dragged some of you down.
Fortunately, an upbeat tempo changes the feel by giving the Fall/Winter 2021 collection a positive spin while keeping intact Valentino’s eye for style and designers, in this case Pierpaolo Piccioli.
Either Black or White
Piccioli told reporters he considered the opening of the Piccolo Teatro a “punk act.” Perhaps the energy behind the design was unconventional. But the models making their way across the empty theater was far from anarchy.
Piccioli’s design are simplistic outfits that include plentiful coats, sometimes with large grey, black and white checks, knitted sweaters and wide-cut trousers, as well as short-padded jackets.
The recurring motif of diamond patterns on cashmere sweaters and high-collared turtlenecks made the look seem more pop than punk. And welcome back to wide-winged collars, wool capes, oversized jackets, long trench coats, silhouette coats and ponchos.
The only somewhat “radical” items were the net garments. However, as with everything and anytime you don’t know what to wear, all blends well with black.
It’s not only what you wear, but what you hold. The modern man, according to Valentino, cannot live without a man purse, satchel or professional bag – the farfetch. The Valentino borsa collection ranges from €500 ($735 Cdn) and can run up as high at €1,800. ($2,648 Cdn).
“I have always loved cinema. During my adolescence I dreamed of becoming a director. When I discovered fashion and its storytelling power, I decided to become a designer. For me, it was the natural evolution of a dream. “
After high school, Piccioli enrolled at the European Institute of Design in Rome. His commitment goes hand in hand from the earliest years to his atelier work. After his first experiences, in 1990 he came to Fendi to work on the brand’s accessories.
“Working closely with Italian artisans and excellences was fundamental. It allowed me to know the rules and then break them and rewrite them. Savoir-faire is the basis of a designer’s profession. It is the ground from which every creative process starts.”
After Fendi, Piccioli along with long time creative partner, Maria Grazia Chiuri, landed at Valentino with the objective of developing the nascent line of accessories. It was the beginning of a challenge: to ferry the great tradition of Valentino couture from clothes to objects. They were doing that while keeping intact the tradition, care and creativity of its founder. The experiment worked on all fronts. And in 2008, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri were appointed Creative Directors of Valentino.
Canada’s best luxury website: men’s fall/winter fashion
“From the earliest days, the most important work on the Valentino legacy has been to update the perception, the idea, the essence of the Maison more than the revival of its archive. It was a creative process that took the modus operandi of the Couture Atelier as a model. That is, human excellence translated into every single detail. From shows to collections, from collaborations to shops.”
Pierpaolo Piccioli oversaw Valentino’s creative direction for eight years, during which time they modernised its couture DNA to fit the contemporary consumer and boosted annual revenue to $1 billion in 2015. As of July 2016, Chiuri bailed to Dior and Piccioli became the sole Creative Director for Valentino.
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