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Eric Wilson
May 23, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

Has there been a single knock against Valentino since Pierpaolo Piccioli became the solo creative director last year? I can’t think of one thing.

His gorgeously-monastic-yet-electrically-colored gowns have been held up as an example of a return to propriety on the red carpet. The shows have been consistently moving. Celebrities are practically pounding on the door to borrow those dresses. It’s all just so pretty and proper these days at Valentino.

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So what is Piccioli to do next? Well, if you had been at the Valentino resort show on Tuesday morning in New York, you would have been shocked, for Piccioli went casual—extremely casual. As in, shower shoes and track suits, some rendered in his signature pink-and-red color combo with white piping details, others topped with offbeat fur coats. Many of the models wore Valentino’s version of a flip-flop.

VIDEO: Paris Fashion Week: Valentino Spring/Summer 2015

While surprising, this was not exactly a turn of 180 degrees for Piccioli, who still made sure to include a few long dresses with stunning patchworks of lace, while broadening the scope of day wear so that his version of Valentino might reach a broader customer.

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His movement into sporty sportswear was, as it turns out, a nod to streetwear and hip-hop style, which has been bubbling up in recent runway fashion, such as what was seen in the fun fall collection of Marc Jacobs. Piccioli’s take was more of a melting pot, and so toasty was it in the show space that the ideas seemed to blend into something a little abstract. A few tapestry pieces, for example, like a floral coat with threads trailing along the hem and varsity jackets bearing embroidered lips and lipsticks, added some flavor to the mix.

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