Pierpaolo Piccioli took once again to New York to show his latest Valentino collection, and rightly so considering the inspiration was American hip-hop. Consider my eyes about to pop out of my face. I never would associate the ethereal and effeminate aesthetic that often comes out of the Valentino fashion house to decide to take on what many would consider its antithesis. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Marc Jacobs already did it.
Every Piccioli Valentino collection is a study in culture of some kind. An Italian master atelier delving into an intensive study of the history, art, architecture, daily life, and culture of a subsect of people to extract an inspiration, a feeling, an aesthetic. So in that respect, this is much easier to digest. Piccioli took elements of hip-hop via the tracksuit and furs, as well as athleisure via bombers, techno fabrics, and midi length tennis skirts, and they were all just fresh in a palette of emerald, black, and candy apple red to crimson.
The thing about the track suit that often makes it such a parody is the weight. It was so heavy, the velour making such a swoosh as people walked, and by no means were most of them in any way attractive. Here, Piccioli reconstructs it in hammered silk of brilliant emeralds, rubies, and pinks, with white contrast piping.
A color block leotard inset with white frothy clouds of lace was layered with a pleat midi skirt. Whatever dance place this girl is going to, I’m following her and stealing that outfit pronto. I mean…hi.
There were several A-line midi dresses that swerved a bit away from the overt inspiration of this collection for the avid Valentino followers. Even a few plays in the three-time’s-a-signature arts and crafts embroidered geometric patterns.
The final looks showed in evening moments that ranged the full gamut of shimmering embroideries to simple black columns with athletic busts, from the folk pattern to the sheer leafy number reminiscent of THE feather dress.
There really was a good balance here between traditional and boundary pushing, and it’s a bit unexpected coming from an avid historian like Piccioli. Unexpected, but totally welcome.