Pierpaolo Piccioli’s first solo show for Valentino, since he and his longtime partner in design Maria Grazia Chiuri parted ways in July, was a triumph. The success of the two as co-designers for the house is undeniable; together they made Valentino one of the hottest designer brands in the world. After the show over the weekend it’s clear the house is in safe hands with Piccioli at the helm.
The collection looked at once familiar, ingrained with the DNA of the house, yet totally new. Piccioli achieved the balance I was talking about in my review of Dries Van Noten last week, thoughtfully moving the brand forward while maintaining its codes. The theme of the collection, based on Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych The Garden Of Earthly Delights, was evenly infused throughout the collection without dominating it, so the clothes and accessories taken out of the context of a runway show won’t look like oddities but seamlessly segue to real life clothes for real women.
The ethereal dresses we have come to expect from Valentino were there en force, delicately embroidered or printed mimicking the hand of Bosch. For the accessories Piccioli hit all the right marks, great cross body bags, from tiny jewel-like bags suspended from chains to larger ones sometimes worn together. I’m sure they’ll sell the hell out of both. The shoes also were perfect, particularly the block heeled pump with a strap wrapped around the ankle in suede, an evolution of what they have had with just the right kind of update. With this collection Piccioli has proven that he alone is the future of Valentino. I hope he will be there for many years to come.
Here some of my favorite images from the show. The entire collection can be seen at vogue.com.