At this point in his career, Pierpaolo Picciolo can get away with pretty much anything. And by ‘anything’, we mean creating a fall-winter 2022 collection that is almost exclusively hot pink in colour. Aptly titled the ‘Valentino Pink PP Collection’, FW’22 was presented in an all-pink room (we’re talking runway, walls, chairs, ceiling… even a perfectly-coiffed Zendaya sitting in the front row), with a mix of menswear and womenswear looks that played with silhouettes and textures but remained the same shade of fuchsia. That was until about midway through, when we were hit with a brief interlude of all-black looks, before reverting back to shocking pink for the finale, including an Instagram-breaking appearance from the veteran supermodel Kristen McMenamy.
“I wanted a moment of reflection: to think about what’s going on,” Piccioli told Vogue UK of the decision. “I was reading a book about Fontana [the Italian artist and Spatialist], who used to cut up his work – not in order to destroy it but to build new opportunities; new dimensions. You know when you see a book of black and white portraits, after two or three pages you know it’s a black and white portrait book, so you don’t expect to see blonde hair and blue eyes? You go deeper into expressions: wrinkles… I wanted to get that feeling.” Put simply, Piccolo wanted to remove the distraction of colour to allow the subtler details of his designs to sing: expertly crafted asymmetrical necklines, remarkably embellished knitwear, feathered capes that hang on the body like a piece of moving art.
There was a more tangible reason for the decision too. This specific shade of pink will officially be entered into the Pantone colour scale, named ‘Pink PP’, and is likely to become a new signature in the Valentino universe. As we emerge into a new decade of fashion with our focus shifted away from the neutral-heavy obsession of the 2010s, it only makes sense that designer brands are embarrassing grabby, unabashed colour palettes. And when you see the cut of a Valentino hot pink bomber jacket or flirty micro day dress, it becomes clear that fuchsia fever is likely to take over among Picciolo’s devoted clientele. Seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses never looked better.