valentino

The exception to the rule

They say every rule has its exception. And, of course, we couldn’t escape. A few days ago, we wrote that fashion Maisons whose original designer has left, lose their meaning.

Indeed, this is not the case with Valentino, the exception to the rule.
Since the duo Piccioli – Chiuri has split from co-designing the brand, Mr Pierpaolo Piccioli didn’t miss a single beat. Though, we cannot say the same about Chiuri’s work.

From the moment he went solo, Piccioli’s design has been a celebration of the Valentino codes. He carefully paid respect to the founder’s work, elaborating the brand DNA while adding a touch of modernity. Elegance has certainly not been lost.

On July 15, we saw the Fall/Winter 21-22 Valentino couture show, streamlined from Venice’s Gaggiandre, Arsenale. What better occasion to find a valid exception to the above rule. The show was a dialogue between fashion and art, presented from a magnificent set-up.

If fashion is not art, it is true that both forms of expression have many aspects in common: creativity, the vital and founding element that determines the whole process. But also time, experimentation, and skilled hands. All these are crucial elements needed to reach a perfect realization.

For the show, Pierpaolo Piccioli collaborated with 17 painters, and the final result was sublime. The overlapping of bold colours was a joy for the eye, a breath of fresh air. The fluid silhouettes and clean-cut lines, the game of form and colours, showed a modern way to make couture.

Impeccable tailoring and know-how. Effortless beauty and elegance.
An expression of art. And a real celebration of couture.

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The state of fashion & the couture revamp

Top brands are rediscovering and relaunching their couture collections. And eliminating the diffusion lines, as Valentino did with Red Valentino, for instance.

The couture orientation could be a re-emerged desire for well-done items among tons of junk clothing. A strategy to clean up a collapsed market, focusing on their original identities. Or the research for a more sustainable model. Both possibilities are worthy.

In fashion, we should do like the music bands: can we imagine Queen without Freddy Mercury? or Nirvana without Kurt Cobain?
For instance, why should Margiela make sense designed by someone who has his opposite vision? Although John Galliano is one of the greatest couturiers, Margiela is not Margiela anymore.
What about Balenciaga? or Gucci? Brands lost their identity, and now it’s game over.

Couture and heritage

In todays’ panorama, we believe historical Maisons should repurpose archival pieces in a modern version to keep alive the designer’s heritage. And no, we are not referring to the so-called “modernity” of the recently relaunched Balenciaga couture line. Was the pigeon toe an example of modernity? We don’t think so.

As conceived nowadays, couture and brands in general, when the designer of the Maison is dead or has left, lose their meaning.
Although there is a vague inspiration coming from the archives, we see very little respect for the creativity and work of the original designer. Instead, a certain arrogance of the newcomers prevails, aiming to show their own vision while disfiguring the original. There are very few exceptions.
So conceived, fashion is simply a way to make money out of the brand name legacy, in addition to an ego game. All the magic is gone.

Since overproduction is killing our planet, couture and demi-couture collections offer a more controlled and limited production model. The higher quality wouldn’t hurt either.

The return of the “atelier” with a unique selection of worthy pieces and custom-made items is the opposite of the mass distribution model we saw flourishing till now. They would offer value and sustainability.

And maybe we’d see the rebirth of fashion.

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