If you were to be writing about fashion in the 1980’s and embracing the avant-garde side of the era in terms of falling into a state of rapture at the shows you loved, it is almost certain to say you would have been named a fashion nun. And no, that would not be a compliment. If you were to be doing the same thing today- more precisely, watching Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017/2018 collection designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli, fashion religion would be completely acceptable. Desirable, even.
Piccioli designed an impressive collection. Genuinely believing in the power of fashion and the power of couture, he elevated the spirit of the fashion house and made some profane messages. “In this moment, everything is digital and about rationalism,” Piccioli said. “I think all of us are looking for something more spiritual, beyond reality. This is really close to the idea of couture because every aspect of the sacred is expressed by rituals, and couture is made by rituals. Sacred is what is beyond reality, what you don’t see but you just feel, you just perceive. What makes couture special, unique and magical is what you don’t see — all the ritual to arrive at the piece.”
Inspired by ecclesiastical garments and religious portraits of the 17th century painter Francisco de Zurbarán and the prettiest of pagan deities, Venus– he called his fall collection “a reflection about the sacred”. Evening gowns were no surprise. However, what he did with the design was not only alluring, but cool and intriguing. He advanced the classical Valentino look and minimised the dramatic volumes. Cut with the obsessive perfection were the daywear pieces, layering long unfettered coats or statement capes over vests, over dresses, over shirts, over pants, all in slightly dissonant colors. Will the audience approve? Probably. I’m sure Valentino’s religious clients pray for it.
Photo Credit: The Impression