PFW: Valentino, a Victorian vision of Memphis
Pier Paolo Piccioli likes multiple inspirations. His moodboard, before which he took post-show congratulations, bearing photos of Renaissance art, Victorian ladies and multi-colored images of furniture from Memphis, the Italian movement that revolutionized modern design in the 1980s.
The house even built a special glass veranda to house its celebrity fans from Kristin Scott Thomas and Clotilde Courau to Olivia Palermo and Sveva Alviti. Alviti, the new star of the biopic of Dalida, was dressed in an off-white and rose Valentino dress and sent paparazzi into a feeding frenzy.
However, what mattered most were the clothes on the runway and Piccioli delivered with superb long caftans, dresses and coats, in the marvelous hard candy colors favored by Memphis. Almost like modern hieroglyphics they included hands, arms, flowerpots, numerals, Italian futurist dreams and De Chirico-type empty buildings. He varied the mood throughout, alternating formal checkered floral chiffon dresses with romantic stunning pleated dresses in contrasting lace and guipure. It was all anchored with punk rocker boots finished with the house's signature rock studs – adding the right amount of punch.
This is a designer totally in command, and in sync, with his atelier. As one particular story, an all-white biker jacket and remarkable pleated skirt white lambskin, showed.
What is most amazing is that Piccioli, a heterosexual designer who is a family man from Rome, manages not to fetishize women but to actually contemporize them. These are very expensive clothes, yet Piccioli has the knack to make them look as if they could walk straight from the runway onto the street, a feat only the best designers are able to pull off.
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