Valentino’s Return to Elegance: A Celebration of Couture Craftsmanship and Modern Glamour

Valentino’s Spring Summer 2024 Haute Couture collection made a grand return to its historic headquarters on Place Vendôme after a cinematic display at the Château de Chantilly last season. Creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli orchestrated a one-of-a-kind fashion show that celebrated the sacred process of couture, emphasizing its personal and individualized approach.

Drawing inspiration from the golden age of couture in the 1950s and ’60s, Piccioli acknowledged the resurgence of interest in this intricate art form, partly fueled by popular TV series like “Cristóbal Balenciaga” and “The New Look.” Seeking to bridge the gap between the historical and the contemporary, Piccioli envisioned a crowd reminiscent of the early salon de couture gatherings, blending classic couture aesthetics with a modern twist.

The event attracted a star-studded audience, including luminaries such as Jennifer Lopez, Florence Pugh, and Kylie Jenner, accompanied by her daughter Stormi Webster. Their presence underscored the growing fascination with couture in today’s pop culture, adding an element of excitement to the traditionally refined atmosphere of a couture presentation.

Piccioli’s collection not only featured the expected red carpet stunners but also delved into the realm of quirky daywear. Oversize jackets, palazzo pants, scooped vests, fishtail skirts, and duster coats graced the runway in unconventional volumes and a vibrant palette of chartreuse, oxblood, lime, putty, mustard, and sage. The designer aimed to bring couture into the contemporary sphere, demonstrating that it is not confined to formal occasions.

While eschewing elaborate embroideries, Piccioli showcased labor-intensive creations that emphasized the magic of illusion in his designs. For example, bonded oblong discs on a glossy green men’s coat simulated crocodile skin, and a chiffon top sported delicate white feathers crafted from cut organza. The collection highlighted the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into every piece, with a focus on the expertise of the Valentino atelier in Rome.

Piccioli emphasized the human aspect of couture creation, expressing disdain for the term ‘petites mains’ often used to refer to skilled artisans. He acknowledged the unique personalities and life experiences of his team, stressing the importance of infusing personal humanity into the clothes they create. This personal touch is what breathes life and soul into each couture piece.