The runway show highlighted the brand’s heritage by transporting the audience to where it all started for Valentino Garavani – the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts.
Having previously set a selection of models with face jewellery, platform boots, and various tattoos storming around the walls of the Hotel Salomon Rothschild for fall-winter 2023, Piccioli decided to keep the emphasis on the female body for this seasonal offering.
In homage to women everywhere, Piccioli set out to emancipate women from restrictive ideals by looking into ways to render the body more comfortable and free.
Carefully exploring the dynamic between the female body and the implications of showing skin, the creative director liberates women by utilising nakedness as a natural state. Bold cuts appear on various garments to simultaneously increase movement, and empower the wearer.
Utilising a new technique – Altorilievo – the collection demonstrates the way in which garments mould and fuse with the female body. Altorilievo refers to the high-relief decorative craft used by Piccioli to protrude various motifs including foliage, fruits, flowers and animals.
Reinterpreting these delicate, fragile ornaments into structured, solid forms, the designer metaphorically subverts the idea that historically, women have been considered weak and less powerful. The same motifs and patterns are found emulated in grisaille prints to further highlight the divine feminine.
Deciding to spotlight the difficulties of the female plight, Piccioli created this collection to address the increasing attacks on women in Italy. Featuring pared-back, minimal looks, the importance of dressing for comfort in order to metaphorically oppose the restraints of the male gaze is at the forefront of the collection.
Employing various techniques to facilitate mobility, Boxy T-shirts meet jeans and low, grounded shoes in an effort to create an intimate dynamic between the wearer and outfit.
Combining sculptural mini-dresses with Canadian tuxedos, the collection explores not only sensual, figure-hugging silhouettes but also elevated contemporary classics.
Piccioli intentionally, and masterfully, manipulates the body through his ability to action change through the wearer’s own introspective attitude.
Additionally, bags such as the VLogo Moon bag appear to combine with the female form – the “V” chain wraps itself around the wrist and intertwines the accessory with the wearer. Now offered in doublé calf, pliant and relaxed, the bag remains versatile and adaptable, perfect for the Valentino woman.
Performing alongside the models, FKA Twigs danced and sang with a corps of dancers to underpin the collection’s themes.
Having released an album named after the figure of Mary Magdalene, Twigs is no stranger to using her own platform to detail the reality of womanhood in contemporary society.
Honouring the natural state of women’s bodies, sensuality and the feminine, SS24 encapsulates the importance of empowerment and solidarity in the face of tribulations.