Just like his ex-partner-in-crime Maria Grazia Chiuri, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli decided to take his collection homeward to Nettuno, a resort city and an agriculture centre that sits 60km outside the south of Rome.
The collection was born out of spontaneity and is armed with the greatest tool of all—his imagination. Piccioli went back to the traditional way of conceptualising with a pencil, paper and a handful of brushes. It was very clear from the start that the message he wanted to convey was intimacy backed by that slightly journalistic quality to the images and having his long-time friend and runway sensation, Mariacarla Boscono, along on this very personal journey pretty much sets the mood and tone.
Shot by Piccioli himself, the entire campaign was, in his words, “real and unpretentious”. The extravagance and the excess had suddenly been stripped back to a series of simple diaphanous dresses in the most glorious of colours. The free-spirited charm of the ’70s is present as airy kaftans and slouchy tunics take centre stage, but the real standout comes in a smattering of polka dots interspersed by a series of botanical prints outlined by slivers of acid green and royal purple. The introduction of the beaded kimono robes adds a sense of escapism to the collection, while the feather-trimmed tunics brought forth an air of romanticism.
Even the rose petal sandals and slouchy handbags with that slight kooky appearance, which have been brought forward from the last season, feels right at home when worn under long flowy gowns and wide-legged pants. In such inward-looking times when human connections are key and the ability to dream and aspire proves to be even more important than ever before, Piccioli’s work offers just that right dose of joyfulness and hope while at the same time allowing the eyes to travel and dream a little.