At Valentino Couture, a Metaphysical Exploration of Beauty and Equality | Savoir Flair
Paris Couture Week
At Valentino Couture, a Metaphysical Exploration of Beauty and Equality
article VALENTINO
by Haleh Nia 4-minute read July 6, 2023

Through this collection, Piccioli crafts an ode to humanity, where beauty, uniqueness, and freedom are celebrated in equal measure.

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In a world where places transcend physical boundaries and eras dissolve into a timeless realm, Valentino Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli invites us into the captivating universe of "Un Château." This Valentino Haute Couture collection goes beyond the mere representation of a château; it becomes a metaphor for life itself, a symbol that challenges our preconceptions and redefines notions of beauty, uniqueness, and freedom.

At its core, a château embodies the weight of its past, a witness to countless lives and a reflection of elitism and social status. However, Piccioli deftly transforms this historical burden, forging a nameless and universal space that is accessible to all. This château becomes an "everyplace" where new forms of equality can thrive, and a celebration of individuality can unfold.

This collection serves as an exploration of the paradoxes inherent in both a château's lived history and the collective expectations of Haute Couture. Just as the architectural complexity of a château can reveal a pure simplicity, so too can Haute Couture defy perceived notions of complexity to find its essence. Valentino's fundamental ideology of championing expertise, craftsmanship, and the power of the unique individual permeates each garment, translating contemporary sensibilities and modern realities into sartorial poetry.

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The garments themselves embody a remarkable simplicity that harmoniously moves with the body. They streamline and follow its natural forms, with seams reduced to precision and focus. While evoking ideals from the past, the collection imbues them with an attitude of the present. Fabrics are lightened, memories of decoration abstracted, and heightened colors offer a minimalist approach to maximalism. Draperies freeze fabric in motion, capturing fleeting moments and encouraging contemplation, reflection, and examination.

Throughout this collection, humanity takes center stage. Flat shoes liberate movement, allowing clothes to flow and express individual emotions and human sensibilities. Extravagant gestures emerge instinctively and spontaneously — a subtle pretense of ermine, a cascade of crystal jewels —as reminders of historical grandeur. Simultaneously, the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary, with t-shirts transmuting into ballgowns and vintage Levi's jeans (yes, really) serving as canvases for gilded embroidery. Denim itself becomes a work of art through intricate trompe l'oeil beadwork, beckoning closer inspection and evoking curiosity. This approach exemplifies the collection as a whole — a philosophy that imbues everyday objects with preciousness and celebrates their inherent beauty, rejecting hierarchical structures.

A tension arises between the château's environment and the figures that inhabit it. As people transition from the interior grandeur to the freedom of nature, their garments become emblematic of this duality. "Un Château" transforms into an arena for the amplification of ideas — a space that is open, inclusive, and welcoming to all.

The entire show, including its finale — where the atelier’s petits mains walked out with the models — is a metaphysical journey, inviting us to question and redefine the concepts that shape our lives. It effortlessly combines historical echoes with contemporary sensibilities, melding simplicity and complexity into a harmonious whole. Through this collection, Piccioli crafts an ode to humanity, where beauty, uniqueness, and freedom are celebrated in equal measure.

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