Simplicity and elegance were the watchwords at Valentino on October 1st last. 2019 Spring Summer sees Pierpaolo Piccioli proving once and for all that the most covetable dresses are not necessarily the most erotically charged. The brand’s Parisian show opened with a succession of black looks, some cut in simple cotton, some with flowers, feathers or majestic pleats. Colour crept in as the models swept past: chic rust, discreet Bordeaux, crazy Valentino Red and multicoloured prints progressively brightened up the runway. This show was not about getting away from it all, it was about staying where you are, living your life in colour. The line between haute couture and ready-to-wear is blurred, yet another reason to stay true to oneself, whatever happens. Practicality is key, and all of the pieces signed by Pierpaolo Piccioli have a feeling of controlled ease and light comfort. Roomy pieces, flat sandals with detachable feather details and airy fabrics make this an effortless collection, without constraints. The V Ring bag is a newcomer this season, the ultimate in practicality, with multiple compartments, adding the final touch to a collection where function matters, and proving that high fashion can indeed be worn every day.
After returning from Paris where he studied, Valentino Garavani inaugurated his first studio in Rome in 1959. His first collection was based on precious materials and flamboyant colors. The Valentino red, a powerful, bright, poppy red appeared on the catwalk for the first time. A year later, in 1960, he collaborated with Giancarlo Giammetti to launch his eponymous brand. The label’s first collection was presented in 1962. Success was immediate as Jackie Kennedy was one of the brand’s fans. Very quickly, the Italian brand expanded its activities. In the 1970s and 1980s the label launched new men and women’s ready-to-wear lines, an accessory range and a fragrance line. Valentino Garavani retired from fashion in 2007, during a large Parisian show celebrating his 45-year career.
PierPaolo Piccioli studied fashion design at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome. In the mid-80s, he met Maria Grazia Chiuri, who became his work partner at Fendi in 1989. In 1999, the duo migrated to Valentino where they were in charge of accessories before managing the Red Valentino line in 2003. On October 4, 2008, the Roman partners were appointed Creative Directors of the main line. During this time, the brand released many bestsellers, including the Rockstud range. Eight years later, in 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri moved to Paris to become Creative Director at Dior. In July 2016, Valentino announced that Pierpaolo Piccioli would continue in his position solo.