Valentino sets Rome on fire with an anthology haute couture show

The Valentino Fall-Winter 2022-2023 Haute Couture show on the monumental steps of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Courtesy of Valentine

The Italian luxury brand presented its Fall-Winter 2022-2023 Haute Couture collection on Friday, July 8, on the monumental staircase of Piazza di Spagna in Rome. A grandiose show that celebrates the diversity of the world and the joie de vivre of the Roman house.

It was in the Eternal City that it all began for the man everyone in the house respectfully calls Monsieur Valentino. In 1959, precisely, the year in which Valentino Garavani (now 90 years old) founded his fashion house, becoming from the 60s one of the greatest claws of Italian fashion. But it is also here, in Rome, where Pierpaolo Picciolithe artistic director of valentine, recalls the great moments of fashion that he lived there, then a young student, in the famous and grandiose Scalinata, monumental steps that went up to the Trinita dei Monti, Plaza de España. In the 1990s, the greatest couturiers – Valentino, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana – paraded there at the end of the Italian haute couture week with all the supermodels of the time – Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Carla Bruni, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and company.

A memorable evening that, at a time when social networks did not yet exist, was broadcast on the program “Donna Sotto le stelle” (Femme under the stars, editor’s note) in the RAI. “I took the train from Nettuno (his hometown by the sea located an hour from Rome, where he still lives, Editor’s Note) to attend this event, says today Pierpaolo Piccioli. He was far away, in the middle of the crowd, but he had come to see what, for us Italians, represented the very image of beauty, dreams and fairy tales. Then I went back to my train. It is therefore in this same Place d’Espagne, next to Place Mignanelli that houses the Valentino Palace and his workshops, that the designer has chosen to present his autumn-winter 2022-2023 haute couture collection, where he has also guest fashion school students attend “This time all of Rome can see our parade, it is my way of paying homage to what shaped me in my youth, but it is also a new image of the world that tells my vision of beauty”, he specifies.

Valentino Fall-Winter 2022-2023 Haute Couture Show in Rome. Courtesy of Valentine

The diversity of beauty.

His vision? give expression to all diversities as he had already done in his last haute couture show in Paris. Women (and men) parade whose physique no longer has to meet the same canons of perfection as before. Age, color, silhouette, gender, everything is open… Together with supermodels young and old:Mariacarla Boscono, Violette Sanchez, Kristen McMenamy, Liya Kebede, among others-, the designer also summoned a street cast. “I want to tell the beauty of diversity, she insists. In the past, for example, you could see one or two black models in the shows to give it the exotic touch. Putting Valentino on the podium today almost 40 black modelsI want to send a political message, make an appeal to counter xenophobia. Because fashion cannot be apolitical. Designers have a certain responsibility.

“By having about 40 black models on the Valentino catwalk, I want to send a political message”

Pierpaolo Piccioli

The main inspirer of this haute couture collection called “The Beginning”, “is Mr. Valentino himself and above all”, he stresses however. If each haute couture collection is for Pierpaolo Piccioli “an eternal beginning”, this one started from conversations with the founder of the brand. “It is a reflection on what has built the history of the house with a new look, a new perspective,” he explains. Hence the famous red Valentino whose dresses occupy a prominent place in the creator moodboard. There will also be that joie de vivre and that lightness typical of the identity of the great couturier that Pierpaolo Piccioli wanted to transcribe and project in the contemporary world.

Joie de vivre, color and light

This Friday, July 8, it is thus 8:00 p.m. in Rome when the moving voice of the composer Labrinth (the soundtrack of euphoria, it’s him!) rises live in the Plaza de España and accompanies the first model to leave the Valentino workshops and descend majestically from the Scalinata. At the bottom of the stairs, first go through the star-studded front row:anna hathaway, Kate Hudson and Spider-Man’s alias Andrew Garfield are there, then he follows a long route before heading back to the workshops. The joy of living ? She is present from this first step that takes up Valentino’s 1959 Fiesta bustier minidress reinterpreted in an extraordinary red flowered jacket with enormous taffeta roses. Worn over a mini jumpsuit embroidered with red sequins, the latter reveals legs clad in black leggings.

Valentino Fall-Winter 2022-2023 Haute Couture Show in Rome. Courtesy of Valentine

From mint green to neon pink

The rest of the collection is a hundred passages that literally set the Plaza de España on fire with flowers (myriads of extreme pinks), sequins and colors that collide harmoniously (from mint green to fluorescent pink, passing through all shades of red, orange , the blue…). Another star element of the collection: feathers abound, giving the outfits a necessarily vaporous grace and they also revolve around the salons or the spectacular headdresses signed by Philip Treacy. But there are no deliberately dramatic high volumes this season or over-the-top theatrics. Silk faille petticoats cinched with a majestic bow are worn with elegant cropped bodices (feathered anyway) and dresses follow or reveal the body with an ultra-modern sensuality that takes nothing away from their extreme sophistication.

Valentino Fall-Winter 2022-2023 Haute Couture Show in Rome. Courtesy of Valentine

colored water drops

A plump girl walks by in a red low-cut dress with slits, a man follows her in midnight blue baggy pants, a sexy tank top, and a gorgeous rose-adorned coat. And then there is this layer as light as a breath of air that takes up the black and white mosaics of Roman palaces and baths, a theme that Mr. Valentino had also explored. Being aware of the past in order to accept the future explained Pierpaolo Piccioli in the introduction to his collection. He also said that he imagined that these models walk on water and that they are like colored drops of water on the Scalinata. It is enough to look at the final painting that brought together all the models on the monumental staircase to understand all the poetry of what he wanted to express in this memorable parade.

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