“Fashion is political when it deals with humanity, with rights. In the war we are experiencing, there are economic reasons and great selfishness, but not even the shadow of humanity and human rights. For this all we can do is ccontinue to work and donate aid to those who are suffering. The rest risks falling into rhetoric ”. When he designed this collection just three months ago, Pierpaolo Piccioli he could never have imagined that he would find himself presenting it in this situation, one step away from the abyss of the Third World War. But it is precisely in this context that the work of study and re-signification of values made by the creative director of Maison Valentino around the pink color it takes on a further meaning and fully succeeds in the intent of “immortalizing a moment”, the suspended present we are experiencing, and delivering it to history. With a radical gesturethe designer has decided to entrust his narration to only two colors, pink (and not just any pink but his pink, the Pink PP which will soon become a new one Pantone) and black. Color and non-color par excellence, ontological feminine and masculine, light and dark, life and death. An absolute polarization strengthened by the choice of monochrome, which is made key to an existential reading because, explains Piccioli, it is the way in which emotions are manifested in our unconscious. The same ones that generate the actions that are carried out in the world, including this war.
PIERPAOLO PICCIOLI FINAL (2)
For the Valentino fashion show at Paris Fashion Week everything is tinged with Pink PP. Even the location, the Temple Tile, in the heart of Paris, it envelops the viewer and alters their sensory perceptions. Pierpaolo Piccioli’s voiceover reminds us that the solution is always love, a concept also punctuated by the soundtrack, the main theme of the film ‘In The Mood For Love‘by Wong Kar-wai. The models in total pink follow each other in a loop interrupted only for a moment by the arrival of deep black. So here comes the pink again, in a sort of dystopian short circuit that pushes to change approach in observation of the catwalk.
“Pink is liberation from the need to paint reality in a realistic way”, Says the designer at the end of the show. “I wanted to strip this color of all those values that are traditionally associated with it and refer to what is feminine, carefree and flirtatious. I wanted to consider it a color like any other, bringing attention no longer to the color itself but to the creative work that is the basis of fashion, volumes, silhouettes, cuts and shapes. The chromatic cancellation allows the amplification of the variety of bodies, attitudes, physicalities. Using a single color changes the perception of what your brain sees and you are forced to observe surfaces, materials, details. Even the discourses on inclusiveness lose consistency in this perspective, only the authenticity of the people remains”.
To get to this Pierpaolo Piccioli made a complex process of subtraction: “At the beginning I thought of this collection as a continuation of the previous one, the Rendez Vous. I came here to Paris in December to seek inspiration but was disappointed: there was no reality that I expected to see, the return to life that I imagined was not taking place in the streets. This prompted me to further reflection and reading Lucio Fontana’s studies on monochrome I understood that it was necessary to go deeper, beneath the surface of reality, at the heart of tailoring. Following this intuition I have come to subvert the canon of pink “.
Hence this absolutism allows us to recognize and admire in this Fall / Winter 2022 collection the Couture approach interpreted with ready-to-wear materials, elongated silhouettes amplified by vertiginous heels and tights, because, Piccioli emphasizes, “the moments of great change – from the Middle Ages to the 18th century – they are always accompanied by a strong sense of verticality“. Floral embroideries, transparencies, crystals, volumes, bows and marabou speak of the design process behind them. The cargo suits, the hoods, the miniated bustiers designed by the cuts, the chiffon blouses: everything pushes us to redefine our perception of fashion, stripping it of any superfluous narrative. If it is true that the image counts more than a thousand words, with this fashion show Pierpaolo Piccioli gives us his poster. And this pink, the color that has always characterized his collections, now becomes total and absolute: if before there was Valentino red to define the allure of the Palazzo, now there is the Pink PP that takes to the streets and gets “dirty” with life.