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VALENTINO

VALENTINO

Couture FW 2020

Photos by VALENTINO

A Conversation between Art and Movement

The Infinite Possibilities Of Digital

When there’s a will, there’s away! In a video shot through zoom in a model of dialogue between creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and photographer Nick Knight, the Valentino Fall/Winter couture collection, takes us through a journey of hope and vision. It all starts with what seemed to be a ginormous long coat, suspended in nothingness. At first glance, the material looks a lot like fur, but as the seconds go on, we realize it’s just a trompe l’œil effect. The coat is in fact of a multitude of light, seamless and fluffy feathers, sewn on top of a mesh organza fabric, with a separation between them so the sheer and lightness of the coat is visible. This coat is worn by a model wearing a silver sequined catsuit, giving her the appearance of a knight; which we found unflattering as the overall outfit made her look a lot shorter than she is. However, we were still intrigued by the presentation and wanted to see more.

Grace and light were the words used by the house of Valentino to describe this collection and video, and we couldn’t think of a better description. With models flowing through the air with extreme poise and agility, this couture live presentation was a real 3D art show! All the looks were white, but were illuminated by a light projection showcasing prints and motifs of birds, blooming flowers, and falling petals, bringing together as the Maison expressed it “the tangible morphed by the intangible”. The clothes representing a blank canvas through which any color, shadow, and embroidery could be possible. An all-white collection is also no stranger to Valentino, as they’ve done it once before for their Spring/Summer 15 couture collection in NY. Accessories were minimal with interesting headpieces, except for the fringe waterfall-like hat, which seems to be overwhelming more than anything else. The two looks that really caught our attention were both worn by models that looked like trapeze couture artists: the first one had upright feathers attached to a bustier encompassing the model’s entire torso, attached to a flowy cutout long skirt. The model wearing that dress had a sleek, low chignon a bare face, but looked like a confident white peacock in all her glory. The second look, worn with clear sandals, is a long sleeve bodysuit paired with a long ruffle organza collar cape with a beautiful pattern of lace flowers.

The silver touch in the collection was mesmerizing, especially the turtleneck fringe dress that gave us the impression that the model had wings. It was the only all-silver look, made of a cascade of streaming fringes. The show made of two acts, separated by an interlude of a quick citation: “Non vogliamo essere senza sogni” meaning we don’t want to be without dreams, is a feeling everyone can relate to. In the second half of the show, every single look had their spotlight, as the light hit each of them. It was at this moment that we then saw the details of the garments in full, as the motifs and prints were all gone. The clothes were more beautiful and the models more majestic. During that act, we found further interest in the round neck, puffed sleeve ball gown, as we couldn’t appreciate it as much before because of the 3D art. It all came together with opera silver gloves that looked regal.

As the curtains closed, after the designer took a bow, we realized that poetic and gentle are the words we would use to describe this digital experience. True to our time, as everything seems to be up in the air at the moment, Valentino’s Fall/Winter 20’ couture collection gives us hope,
light, and magic. A world where what doesn’t exist can exist through infinite possibilities! New beginnings can be scary, but in the eyes of Pierpaolo Piccioli, it also creates a space to press the reset button.

By Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre