Valentino Resort Collection 2023 | vogue

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It was not lost on anyone attending Paris fashion week this season that the shows are turning into pop culture events that are increasingly closer to the world of entertainment, with herds of multi-hyphenated celebrities ( and their vast entourages) taking over the front rows and unleashing a frenzy outside the halls and on social media. Even A-list influencers, a term that now has a faint whiff of the past, retreated into the shadow of lesser seat allocations. Is fashion (as in clothing) becoming a kind of corollary to the buzz generated by these theatricalities, designers and creative directors adding the role of impresario to their CVs? Are clothes becoming the marginalized Cinderellas of fashion month?

The Valentino show was definitely one of the blockbusters of the season, where the scene was so hyped that it sometimes clouded the perception of the clothes’ obvious beauty. A conversation with Pierpaolo Piccioli on the station was therefore timely, as the collection was conceived as a precursor to the spring 2023 release. Stripped down to the show’s set design, it was representative of Piccioli’s line of thought, both conceptual and visual.

“Fashion shows are there to solidify the narrative around your values ​​and your identity,” Piccioli said on a Zoom call from his studio in Rome. “Resort is where fashion speaks its own language. There is no storytelling here, just work on the construction, the cut, the silhouettes, the color. It’s just fashion, fashion, pure. Of course, for me, clothes are always related to how real people wear them. For Piccioli, there is no fashion without humanity.

He named the collection Surfaces, emphasizing the visuals of an all-over silhouette, from head to toe, where textures and shapes were transformed into a kind of minimal continuum. While Piccioli has been playing with minimalism for some time as a way to highlight the individuality of the wearer – “you cut excess on the garment to draw attention to the face”, he said – it’s actually a concept rooted in Valentino Garavani’s 1960s aesthetic, where lines were clean, volumes close to the body, and decoration kept to a minimum. Fluidity was an element of sensuality that did not detract from the purity of the design.

Resort was in conversation with these style fundamentals. In the spring runway, Piccioli indulged in fluidity and movement enhanced by an abundance of shiny sequins, but here he kept the figure clean, slim and very short. Cut contours and maximalist surfaces from head to toe were in evidence, for example, in a black macramé lace dress paired with matching leggings/boots, or in a white lace encrusted shift mini dress, which was sort of stretched in correspondence stockings/leather lined boots. Piccioli said he wanted the lace – a quintessential Valentino accent – ​​not just to be a pretty embellishment, but rather unashamedly puffed up and maximized in an all-over, ubiquitous surface.

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