He did this quite literally, painstakingly recreating a selection of archive pieces by Valentino Garavani from across the Italian house’s storied history, including an animal print coat worn by ’60s Valentino model Veruschka, a white ruffle-sleeve mini dress worn by Marisa Berenson and two billowing poppy print dresses, memorably shot by Chris von Wangenheim.
These garments punctuated the vibrant collection, leading the way for its deft intertwining of past and present, and were also donned by Zendaya in an accompanying photoshoot shared on the Valentino Instagram.
The show’s Paris location, Le Carreau du Temple – a covered 19th-century marketplace in the 3rd arrondissement – further exemplified the designer’s desire to ground his collection in reality. The purposefully individual models – “it is personal identity that creates the aesthetic, and evolves it by fragmenting it,” read the show notes – began their walk on the street outside, before marching the runway in gladiator sandals and chunky brown boots to an upbeat electro soundtrack.
At every turn, Piccioli’s desire to put a contemporary spin on fashion convention was distinctly apparent. Taffeta, couture’s favoured fabric, was “washed, beaten, deprived of any preciousness” and used in abundance, transformed into covetable, clean-cut Bermuda shorts, elegant jackets and oversized shirts across mens and womenswear.
Typical of Piccioli’s skill with the scissors, the collection’s tailoring was its strongest element, defined by beautiful cuts, minimal lines and varying volumes (expansive cape-like jackets and flowing evening gowns vs. bandeau tops and “active-inspired” mini dresses).
White, delicately embroidered shirts, tulle frills, and floral prints lent moments of softness amid the prevailing “vivid, acrylic” colour palette (think: bright purple, neon yellow, lime green). While the collection’s accessories – chunky gold and pearl chokers, and chain-adorned, gold-studded bags – completed Piccioli’s successful pledge to update tradition with a modern, playful edge.