The Valentino Haute Couture spring summer 2021 fashion show is among the most anticipated events in the official Haute Couture calendar in Paris. The creative director of the maison, Pierpaolo Piccioli, for the second consecutive season, has chosen to present the new collection in Rome, with a digital format, parading without an audience in the heart of Palazzo Colonna. The show, entitled Code Temporal, is staged on the soundtrack composed by Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, in the Sala Grande of Galleria Colonna, a jewel of the Roman Baroque that hosts many works including the masterpieces of Guercino and Tintoretto.
The rituals, the process, and the values of Couture are timeless. They celebrate the human: the mind that conceives and the hand that creates and gives value. Through a work process that sits above time, they produce timeless objects molded on the individual.
Time as a code and a value, to reset and reprogrammed in a Couture of today that updates classic rituals and processes through garments designed to express oneself, as anyone desires. Women, men: naturally, smoothly. A wardrobe that draws and opens up possibilities.
Verticality as a tension in which what is complex is resolved into vibrant simplicity. Fabric as a material elevated by handwork, as a texture that incites discovery and surprise. Raised on the highest heels, the long and lean silhouettes are accumulations of elements, stripped of every evident artifice, of prints and decorations, which up close appear different from how they look from afar. The pullover is in fact woven fabric; a solid surface swarms with petals, or dematerializes into folds of ribbons. Line, the texture of the fabric, the warm and cold neutrals and the acrylic glares, do all the talking. The apparent preciousness becomes silent, intimate, just as the interchangeable and protective simplicity of the pieces is intimate. Sudden, flashes of daring.
The temporal code of this recoded Couture becomes a digital tale in the collaboration with Robert Del Naja: a self-standing, complete document of the long process of the Atelier. The information on the making of, of the collection, the faces of the artisans, the time lapsed photo shoots of the work in progress on the tailoring dummy, become algorithmic sequences elaborated and set to music by the machine; trained by creative partner Mario Klingemann. The human feeds the mechanic, the manual activates a neural and digital process, in the quest for a new humanism. Through the synthetic filter of artificial intelligence, the emotional aspect of Couture emerges, with the celebration and enhancement of human quality: a code that regenerates itself endlessly while remaining timeless.
The models, headed by the Italian Mariacarla Boscono, walk one after another through the space filled with art jewels, presenting the looks of the collection as majestic creations erected on sparkling pedestals. For the first time, on the catwalk with the Valentino Haute Couture show, the maison is also presenting a series of men’s outfits that speak the same language as the women’s collection: in silhouettes, colors and workmanship.
The press release released by the maison talks about the rituals, the process, and the timeless values of Haute Couture. Rituals that skip the human: the mind that thinks, the hand that executes and ennobles the material through a process that is abstracted from time, producing timeless objects, molded on the person. Time as a code and value, to be reset and reprogrammed in today’s Haute Couture that updates classic rituals and processes in garments designed to express themselves and to be, each as they want. Women and men alike in a wardrobe that designs and opens up possibilities.
The show is the mouthpiece of a new wardrobe that alternates outfits composed of a layering of functional and fluid pieces such as jackets, turtlenecks, blouses and trousers, to silhouettes with a more conceptual design including sculptural flared dresses, origami outerwear and pieces with very generous volumes. The colors of the collection put in dialogue the classic shades of whites, beiges and browns, in opposition to hyper modern colors such as bright greens, neon orange that replaces the classic Valentino red, as well as touches of fuchsia, yellow, gold and silver.
Metallic flashes are also found in make-up and Haute Couture accessories: maxi pouch bags entirely decorated with crystals, masculine lace-ups and platform sandals with an extreme design that literally put every look on a pedestal. The show ends with the models that take hold in the space of Galleria Colonna, arranged in an orderly manner on the geometric designs of the colored marble floor, symbolically joining the precious collection of works of art kept in the Roman palace.