At Valentino, Inclusivity Was Both a Value and a Motif

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Goodbye exploded volumes, hello tailoring. Valentino’s about-turn for Fall/Winter 2020 was something of a surprise. After many seasons of both ready-to-wear and couture that explored oversized shapes in the form of exaggerated silhouettes, ruffles, and bows, Pierpaolo Piccioli decided to head in another direction. Jubilance was restrained, held back, while elegance led the way.

In contrast to Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection – which saw dozens of all-white looks open the show – Fall/Winter 2020 opened with all-black. Leather corset dresses with articulated cups, sequined turtlenecks topped with sheath dresses, sheer lace separates, and appliquéd outerwear led the pack. Color began to emerge in the form of classic Valentino red, which brightened up leather coats and ruffled frocks. Floral embroidery and prints added color to the line-up, but some were rendered in grayscale and used to decorate the front of outerwear and long skirts.

Valentino Fall/Winter 2020
Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

Jubilance was restrained, held back, while elegance led the way.

Even though the collection was formal and refined, rebellion was found in the models’ punk makeup looks and thick combat boots, which were worn with nearly every look and brought about a fusion of high and low concepts. Diversity has been important to the Valentino runway, but Fall/Winter 2020 also saw inclusivity.

There were male models, curve models, and even a few transgendered models, but all were equally transformed by Piccioli’s vision of modern refinement. Gen-Z poster child Billie Eilish provided the track list that was masterfully scored with a live performance by Le Traffic Quintet. It’s at this intersection of both worlds – that of bright young things and the bourgeoisie – that we find Valentino’s thesis.

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