Valentino: Couture AW23

There were no signs of lace, heavy cream or horses – the three trademarks of Chantilly – but the Valentino show covered just about every other dream on Planet Couture. “I wanted to go back to the Valentino idea of the castle but to use it simply as a place. As a no-place, actually: an idea of freedom and purity and simplicity. A sense of equality in a place where there’s always been rules. I wanted to take away all the meanings of the castle and just give it humanity,” Pierpaolo Piccioli said of his savoir-faire spectacular at Chateau de Chantilly, the Renaissance revival castle some 90 minutes outside Paris. The collection took the signatures of majestic dressing and reduced them to a purified and simplified echo of their opulent glory, creating contemporary and chic silhouettes imbued with the movements and gestures of real life. “I wanted to catch the lightness of the moment. Sometimes when you take a picture, it’s never as light as when it moves. I wanted to freeze the movement in sort of gestures. The constructions are incredible but you won’t see it. They look super simple,” Piccioli explained. Scored by an emotional soundtrack by Anohni, the show hit a high note for the couturier and his team who took a collective bow on the grand staircase of the castle.

Photography courtesy of Valentino.

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