Valentino Creates a Sartorial Daydream in China

Celebrating a new flagship, Pierpaolo Piccioli devised a couture collection that was so fantastical, it's hard to believe it was real.
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Throughout his time at Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli has become one of the most acclaimed figures in couture. With eclectic visions of fashion that bring its concepts far beyond what most could imagine—think the massive wigs from Fall 2018, the Spring 2019 show that brought together an inclusive cast with the classic beauty of flowers, and Lady Gaga's Golden Globes look this past January—the creative director's artistic concepts keep the industry on the edge of their seats and bring many to tears. So when the Roman house announced its intention to celebrate a new Beijing flagship with a couture show, everyone got excited about having yet another opportunity to witness Piccioli's all-out, artistic creations.

The show played upon the concept of daydreams as part of a two-day event highlighting the new store on Sanlitun Road. We all know the concept of this simple word well: things beyond what one thought is possible come into view, revealing one's deepest hopes and desires while their eyes are wide open. Piccioli took that word and made it real: guests likely needed to remind themselves the fantastical creations, with all their voluminous details, florals, and glittering metallics, were not the product of a dream after all, but passing before their very eyes. Pat McGrath, Valentino's go-to for beauty, crafted over-the-top looks that captivate with their drama and glimmer factor: think bedazzled lips, massive winged liner, and on some models, a full face of silver sparkles.

Piccioli brought together Valentino's Italian flair and penchant for haute couture with the beauty of Beijing's Summer Palace. Elements from the Italian Renaissance merge with the Chinese tradition: the volumes are exaggerated, the fabrics deliberately opulent, and the colors range from pink to red, passing through gold and emerald green. Details are essential to bring the audience into the dream: skirts, hats, and dresses are sprinkled with maxi bows, flowers, and precious embroidery.

Valentino also has a Daydream capsule available in tribute to the new flagship, bringing its streetwear into this fantastical concept as well. Focusing on everyday black and red pieces, many of which read "Valentino Daydream," it's sure to be a hit for those who want to declare their love for the new collection in a more accessible way. The brand fêted this capsule as well, via a cocktail party at the new store.

This meeting between China and Valentino crafted a magical concept on view to open eyes, erasing cultural barriers as well as those between reality and desire. Additionally, there was a significant representation of Chinese models, and while the collection referenced elements of the country's grandeur and preferred color palette, it didn't try to lean into stereotypes, instead celebrating the concept of storied beauty. Now, this is how you do an international show.



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