Valentino: Ready-to-wear AW20

Pierpaolo Piccioli is one of fashion’s great colourists so when he goes goth, you sit up and take notice. The designer embraced black – the uniform of the front row, the colour of minimalism and a mood in itself. He did so, he said as part of his overarching fashion mission: to celebrate the individual, to spotlight the humanity of the wearer and to show just how diverse we all are. “What I wanted to do was a portrait of a moment with no categories. Fashion has to record and embrace big changes in the world. We have to encourage tolerance and equality,” he said, showing his collection on a diverse cast of male, female and non-binary models. He blurred categories, putting womenswear on the boys and vice versa. His reason? Against a uniform of fashion black, the individual quirks can shine. A patent bomber, leather dirndl and stompy boots, a leather strapless dress slit to the thigh, a bustier and a slouchy trouser, a rippling moulded leather corset a sheer georgette dress over boy shorts and bovver boots. The clothes were great. The colour, when it did come (26 looks into the show), was Maison Valentino red. The showstopper? A red sequin dress on Adut Akech. It was so simple and sinuous. It framed her beauty and she never looked finer. Piccioli worked his magic.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.

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