The Valentino Fall 2020 couture show took place in the Cinecitta movie theater in Rome and was presented as both a physical and online performance, by the name of “The Performance: Of Grace and Light, A Dialogue Between Pierpaolo Piccioli and Nick Knight”
This poetic piece was a bold statement for an Italian brand so impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Indeed, this 16 look collection, designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli, was already turned to the future. Far from a minimalist approach, as most Couture brands this season, the Valentino collection is a manifesto to opulence, of exccess, of wanting the dream of couture to continue.
The fight of two diametral opposing worlds came to life: the ancestral savoir-faire of couture transmitted by the seamstresses, hatters and other embroiders for ages, and then the new digital and futuristic way of showcasing a collection. With such a show, Valentino brings the poetic into the numeric.
The light pantone of colors, from ivory to silver, really represent the title, and allow the viewers to live the experience of Grace and Lights. Those elongated silhouettes in off-white colors and light shimmering metallics took life in front of a mysterious cinematic black-screen, giving a reminiscent feeling of the high era of silent films, when Hollywood and Berlin were still a dreamy factory of stars fearlessly celebrating and relishing in opulence.
That is what this show is all about: celebrating the dream, and over-the-top creativity, proving that human imagination and art are intensified through these tough periods. Pierpaolo Piccioli’s designs stand as an encouragment for an industry still healing.
The work of feather appliqué, embroideries and draping show a soft and light future profiling already. Waiting for better days to come, the models are literally dripping in feathers and other silk ruffles. They become part of an art installation where the dress wear them, and not the contrary. This does not appear to bother them. The impressive length of these garments -to say the least- brings a focus on how important clothes are in our lives. In this amplified context, they become almost as a shelter, a comfortable, soft wearable house.
Valentino offered us an optimistic vision of fashion-making, with appreciation to the past, and a nod to the future. Now is a good moment to evade and think forward.