Credit: vOGUE

A year ago Pierpaolo Piccioli was in New York presenting a Valentino collection influenced by the street. Eighties hip-hop and Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down were his jumping-off points. Well, he was back today and talking about the street again, only this time it was his native Rome circa the ’70s that piqued his interest. Maybe it was the Call Me By Your Name effect or the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibition, with its collection of Vatican treasures, that had him thinking so intently of home.


“Baroque, Pasolini, angels, pagans—in all these layers together lies the beauty of Roma,” Piccioli said. “There is a harmony of many things.” The collections are oceans apart: Where last year’s was bright and athleisure-y, this one is broodier and bourgeois. Broad strokes, though Piccioli’s intentions then and now are the same. In his pre-collections, he wants to make Valentino clothes for women to really live in. Of course, there were the precious dresses the house is famous for—some real beauties, too, like a black sequined column picked out with tangy yellow mimosa flowers, and an ivory tulle peasant gown with Art Deco beading. But best of all was a kicky little white shirtdress striped with metallic sequins, because it spoke to the overriding message about ease.

Elsewhere he got his point across by serving up everyday eclecticism: a ’70s-cut blazer worn with a silk shirt, denim shorts, and fringed, stacked-heel loafers; a poncho jacket and flared jeans; a charcoal gray pantsuit paired with white trainers. What made these combinations compelling was his liberal and imaginative use of archival Valentino logos. He called them “bootlegged,” i.e., all mixed up, and even in a market oversaturated with branding, his treatment of them, more like prints than promotion, looked novel and fresh. Also imminently wearable: all manner of fluttery silk dresses in micro-floral prints.