Glam is back. And it's very Valentino.
Unless you've been living under a rock the past few seasons, chances are you've caught a glimpse of the reign of Valentino Haute Couture. From majestic collections that made the likes of founder Valentino Garavani cry (think Fall 2018 and Naomi's Spring 2019 closing walk) to major red carpet moments (who can forget Lady Gaga's Golden Globes 2019 dress?), the brand's artistic creations have been impossible to ignore, making Pierpaolo Piccioli one of the most exciting designers to show during Paris' couture week. With a new decade having arrived, the designer wanted to take his sartorial momentum in a new direction, and he did so by honing in on uniqueness and self-expression for Valentino Haute Couture Spring 2020.
"The great couturiers had no themes to follow. They created with freedom," said Piccioli of his inspirations. "In this collection, I tried to work on a couture of the unconscious...I wanted to underline the idea of uniqueness. On the other hand, as Carl Jung said: 'Uniqueness is what makes all human beings identical.'"
Aligning with these ideas, the creations each seemed made for an entirely different wearer, but together they alluded to a particular diva-like glamour that dominated the '70s and '80s. If couture is a gala, Valentino is undoubtedly the life of the party. Models like Kaia Gerber, Irina Shayk, and Adut Akech (who closed the show in a showy feathered number) walked majestically in an array of fascinating looks that hold true to the house's aesthetic identity, but reimagined for today. Each look was incredibly detailed, with standout elements including ruffles, architectural folds, surprising colors, gowns with pockets, and intricate back detailing that made the creations equally stunning from any angle.
From Stella Tennant's opening mermaid-skirt-and-pink-blouse ensemble to Akech's elevated, vaguely Vegas-showgirl finale, Valentino Haute Couture Spring 2020's visual symphony was a crescendo of beauty. Notes of red, a favorite color of the Roman house, mingled among optical details, abstract blooms, and red-carpet-ready accessories (hopefully, an Oscars moment is coming out of this collection in a couple of weeks). Through focusing on uniqueness and extroversion, Piccioli has created a bridge between past and future, between the house's glorious history and an important future. Legendary photographer Paolo di Paolo, seated in the front row of the show, compared the show to a dream, a magical quality that's become synonymous with Piccioli's time at the helm of the brand. Long live haute couture, and long live Valentino.
See all the looks from Valentino Haute Couture Spring 2020 in the gallery below.