Maison Valentino celebrates the essential spark that leads to the flowering of many blooms.
This is Unboxing Valentino, the collection from the Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli for Spring/Summer 2023 that takes the deconstruction as the basis for a wholly new creative construct. Unboxing is the
concept that has brought forth this profoundly empowering collection, which activates - like a game of pass the parcel - nine interpretations by brilliant stylists to unfurl around the world and online.
Each stylist will interpret the collection in their own visual vernacular, and in doing so make the undeniable claim that there is vast diversity and complexity within purity. Unboxing celebrates the limitlessness of creative impulse and execution - clothes are statements, and who better to interpret
their multiple meanings and messages than those who speak their language?
By removing the inessential, essence is revealed, and applied to a multiplicity - of bodies, faces, histories, hues and textures. The cipher for this movement is the Toile Iconographe, made from the repeating VLogo, which adorns prêt-à-porter items as well as Valentino Garavani accessories. Encapsulating the paradoxical and complex message of the collection, the initial - the unequivocal assertion of identity - blurs into a pattern that nullifies its own statement and draws attention to the singularity of the wearer. This idea is expanded in the whole collection through a genderless approach, precision tailoring and monochromatic looks, making this a wardrobe designed for the exaltation of the individual, in both body and soul. Minimalism of forms allows for the focus to fall on fine differences and slight distinctions, while looks draw attention to their own drapery and design. Aesthetic specificity becomes supple, malleable, and in service to true individuality.
The city is a complex system of streets, metro lines, and plazas. An organism made of repeating patterns. Each urbanism has its own unique signature but they all share the propensity for repeated patterns and as such, each talented stylist similarly interjects and harmonises its creativity responding to the collection and the heritage of the Maison through their window displays in the context of the city they create in: a fusion of styles and stories formed from time, place and personality.
In New York, Law Roach unfolds his interpretation through a striking space, a box characterized by a deep totalizing red which becomes a real-life manifestation of the Unboxing concept. An homage to Mr. Valentino’s SS 1992 campaign as captured by Steven Meisel, Law will also cover a vintage car with the Valentino Toile Iconographe pattern, in a demonstration of its versatility - and velocity.
Rebecca Corbin-Murray’s concept takes inspiration from the black runway look with yellow 3D flowers, and in the window in London, projected yellow flowers form the backdrop for all-black looks, inviting contrast between the essential silhouette and the vibrancy of blooming. This window will capture nature’s unboxing, represented by yellow - the colour of the sun, buttercups and the hearts of flowers but a bridge to the complex energies of the psychedelic psyche.
Across the channel, Clement Lomellini brings Unboxing to Paris. Bright shades create a dynamic display, while the Valentino Toile Iconographe pattern draws attention to the naturally repeating. Black gowns with selective cut-outs and see-through fabrics force an awareness of the body as made up of disparate yet continuous elements. The mannequins appear through a torn paper backdrop, staging the drama of a physical unboxing, the act of tearing the paper from the object you just can’t wait any longer to open.
In Milan, Lorenzo Posocco incorporates everyday scenes into the display of the iconic boutique on Via Montenapoleone, capturing the relationship between the street scenes that pass by the windows every day and the becalmed world of the store within. Cities are formed of such a cross-pollination, charging the looks with purpose and relevance. By placing a cubed video screen showing street scenes of Milan inside the display, Lorenzo invites viewers into a reality where the exalted world of fashion meets the intimacy of the everyday in an homage to the energy of the city.