“I believe that when you get rid of preconceptions, you can really reach a deeper emotional level,” said Pierpaolo Piccioli via email. “This is what we’re trying to do at Red Valentino, which is now grounded on a new sense of freedom and sassiness, reflecting the spirit of today’s new generations.”
Piccioli’s manifesto sounded on point, since what young audiences seem to respond to certainly isn’t bourgeois bon ton, but rather radical romanticism and an individual affirmation of stylish rebellion. Piccioli offered plenty of both in his toughened-up version of Valentino’s little sister, who’s definitely undergoing an edgier growing-up process. He bet on customization to convey the free-spirited uniqueness which seems to be the password to access Gen Z’s mindset and the fashion preferences of social-media-driven audiences.
Each piece was hybridized through assemblages and juxtapositions; R.V.’s hallmarks (a seductive arsenal of feminine ruffles, frills, and tulle) were energized with street-inflected cool. A black cropped hoodie became the upper part of a proper beige trench coat turned minidress; a tough black leather biker jacket had sleeves layered with flimsy point d’esprit; an oversized knitted sweater was patchworked with tulle and nylon intarsia. Mini and maxi ruffles circled around an asymmetrical drawstring dress in eye-popping turquoise techno taffeta; a pristine ruched white shirt worn with tiny black lace shorts and lingerie-inspired see-through crochet sets were given a sexier, provocative edge.
As in previous seasons, Piccioli entrusted a young Italian photographer to lens the look book. Shot by Teresa Ciocia in a bare, unadorned space, the images had a raw energy, unpolished and real, pointing in a new, zeitgeist-y direction for this Valentino’s little sister. Should she still be called little? She doesn’t seem to be so unaware of the world.