There are many words one could use to describe Pierpaolo Piccioli’s designs for Valentino—elegant, sophisticated, impossibly refined—but ‘punk’ isn’t necessarily one of them. Which is perhaps what made his Fall/Winter 2021 collection, which debuted in the empty stage of Milan’s iconic Piccolo Teatro while it was still closed to the public this past March, all the more enticing. Granted, there weren’t too many leather jackets or safety pins, but the collection captured the spirit of rebelliousness and self-assertion that typified the punk movement, with a luxury twist, of course. “The fact that we decided to have the Teatro reopened, albeit just temporarily, it was a sort of punk act,” Piccioli told press at the time.
The collection—now available to purchase at Valentino boutiques Australia-wide—represented a kind of aesthetic unshackling for the Italian house. The hemlines were shorter, a sea of bare legs worn with chic little mini dresses and teetering stilettos, with soft wool capes or sharp tailored jackets thrown over the top. And the colour palette was a shake-up too: Pierpaolo’s resplendent graphic printed gowns have long been a Valentino MO, but FW21 showcased just how versatile classic shades of black, navy, and white could be. The evening gowns were sheer—white lace or black tulle—whispy and suggestive.
Accessories-wise, there were white rubber lug-soled boots embossed with 3-D printed rose petals, and the ever-versatile Valentino Garavani Rockstud Alcove pump with its oh-so-punk studded patent leather toe cap. But it was the new Valentino Garavani Stud Sign bag that really stole the show. A rectangular shoulder bag featuring the signature VLogo, crafted with Italian calfskin leather and finished with metal hardware and a chain strap, the Stud Sign marries the recognisable features of Valentino’s heritage with a bold vision for the future. The chain strap, for example, is made of the brand’s signature ‘stud’ motif, first inspired by the bugnato on traditional Roman palazzos, but is designed using a hyper-modern linkage technique, creating a gold rope of interlocking studs that adds an unexpected punk edge to an otherwise classic handbag shape.
Tempted? Shop our edit of the new season below, and check on the availability of your favourites at either Sydney Westfield or Melbourne Chadstone. Alternatively, you can book an appointment to see the full FW21-22 offering in store. Call Sydney at (61) 02 8404 0888 or email email@example.com, and Melbourne at (61) 03 9568 7559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.