Pierpaolo Piccioli Makes His Most Direct Valentino Statement Yet for S/S 21 Campaign

by SHOWstudio on 8 March 2021

With not a model nor a gown in sight, Valentino's latest campaign looks to the art of the written word.

With not a model nor a gown in sight, Valentino's latest campaign looks to the art of the written word.

Valentino's latest campaign has brought together a host of international novelists, poets, playwrights and writers to pen single-page stories. With not a gown in sight, the campaign reflects Pierpaolo Piccioli's multi-faceted new Valentino, which, in recent seasons, has found itself rooted in the artistic director's penchant for exploring the concept of humanity.

The Italian house under Piccioli has embraced digital means of communication since the pandemic struck in 2020 and physical fashion weeks were no more. After teaming up with Nick Knight to present a live-streamed performance featuring 20ft dresses for the house's A/W 20 haute couture collection last year, in January 2021 Piccioli called upon digital artist Mario Klingemann and Massive Attack's Robert Del Naja to create an audio visual artwork, presenting the storied halls of the Valentino couture ateliers like never before.

Donna Tartt x Valentino Collezione Milano

Piccioli has also been quick to collaborate with other creative minds when it comes to the brand's VLogo signature, releasing a unique art book in 2019 whereby sixteen publications were invited to reinterpret the iconic signature. More recently, Valentino announced the Rockstud X project, as part of which designers including Craig Green will reinterpret the staple design feature.

Supporting others in the creative field is clearly where Piccioli gets his kicks; the house held their A/W 21 ready-to-wear show earlier this week in the empty Piccolo Teatro in Milan in tribute to the arts which have been left devastated by the pandemic. Underlying it all, Piccioli has made clear in his show notes, is a focus on humanity, which also goes down to the clothes; Piccioli's recent collections have spoken repeatedly about returning to a real wardrobe.

Elif Shafak x Valentino Collezione Milano

Unafraid to embrace the future and re-write the codes of Valentino, for the brand's S/S 21 campaign, they invited six renowned writers to transcribe the values of the house. The collaboration features work from Turkish writer Elif Shafak, American authors Donna Tartt and Lisa Taddeo, American writer Janet Mock, American playwright Matthew López, American poet Ocean Vuong and English writer Yrsa Daley-Ward. The move is an extension of Valentino's on-going support of the arts and education, having joined forces earlier this year with the writer Tomi Adeyemi to create the campaign #WritersRoadmapxValentino, with the Italian brand pledging to sponsor 50 students to take part in a creative-writing workshop led by Adeyemi.López

Janet Mock x Valentino Collezione Milano

'I love this idea of all people: a combination of identities. It’s about roots and identities, and I love the embrace of different cultures. It’s about humans. It’s about you and your diversity: your expression', said Piccioli in a statement.

It's a refreshing move to see a fashion brand embracing the beauty of the written word, which has the power to cut through the saturated minefield of video calls we're hounded with today. Here, Valentino are growing their community of voices and individuals with imagined love letters and one-liners.

'I am a poetry reader and this helps me to visualise words and to deliver my emotions and vision. I think poetry protects our humanity and allows inner explorations, it gives you the lens through which one can really touch the nature of our most intimate feelings' the artistic director explains.

Lisa Taddeo x Valentino Collezione Milano
YRSA x Valentino Collezione Milano


Image Gallery

Editorial Gallery: Couture Flash

09 March 2020
To celebrate the unveiling of Pierpaolo Piccioli's Valentino Haute Couture Beijing 2019 collection, Nick Knight captures the dresses in a brilliant new light.

Runway Show: Valentino A/W 21

01 March 2021
Watch the Valentino A/W 21 runway show in Milan.

Valentino Launch Book Celebrating The VLogo

05 November 2020
Creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli has curated an art book, filled with unique interpretations of the 'VLogo' created by sixteen iconic magazines, together with Piccioli's own sketches and illustrations.
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