HAUTE COUTURE SPRING/SUMMER 2022
The body, that of women in particular, is both a matter of fact and a cultural construct, of which beauty canons change over time, imposing now tense verticality, now soft horizontality, celebrating certain parts of the anatomy over others. In the system of Haute Couture this drive to idealization materializes in the body of the house model, on which everything is designed and built, becoming real while remaining an abstraction.
Driven by the urgency of rethinking the rituals and processes of Couture in order to create a canon that reflects the richness and diversity of the contemporary world and promoting an idea of beauty that is not absolute, Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli imagined this Valentino Anatomy of Couture collection not on one single and idealized house model, but on a variety of women with different body frames and ages. Soft and welcoming in the democratic spirit, and at the same time radical in the approach that rewrites known processes, Pierpaolo Piccioli builds the collection as a composite harmony of physical types and the clothes that dress them, studied through a long process, both scientific and poetic. The message does not change in its purpose, which is to convey beauty, but in the welcoming expression.
The body is the starting and ending point of the whole process. Silhouettes follow it closely, or detach from it. Nudity glimmers from extremely short hems, peeping from deep necklines that reveal the torso. A strong sense of verticality alternates with breezy horizontality. The codes of Valentino Couture are reiterated in a dialogue that is not a fragmentation but a coherent proposal expressed through different body frames. The intimate dialogue between who thinks the clothes, who makes them and who wears them is reflected in the intimacy of the presentation.
Altering the process, yet keeping the quest for beauty and grace intact, a gesture of noble rupture, of poetic openness is affirmed, one which gives dignity to the individual by replacing the reality that includes to the abstraction that excludes.