“It’s the idea of the club as a place where fantasies can become real; where people are not only allowed to be who they want to be, but where their fantasies can transform them into whomever they wish to be. I think this is quite contemporary,” Pierpaolo Piccioli said of his Valentino haute couture show. Staged in the Bridge Club under the Pont Alexandre III, intense silhouettes of colours and textures emerged from the dark in a fusion of couture, clubbing culture and performance art founded in memories of the New Wave and New Romantics scenes of the 1980s. “The world of Leigh Bowery, the world of Mr Valentino in the ‘80s. The glamour of the stripes, the polka dots, the ruffles, the most classical signs of haute couture, but re-signified in a different way with a different kind of balance. Leigh Bowery meets Mr Valentino,” as the designer put it. By evoking the spirit of the original club kids, Piccioli wanted to paint a picture of a new contemporary world of individuality where the club needn’t be your only sanctuary for self-expression, but where the street is your stage. “I’m delivering a certain invitation to be yourself: facing the reality of people who just want to be themselves, whoever they are. Transforming them into their best version… I think that’s what fashion is for.”
Photography courtesy of Valentino.