“I’m not the sort of designer who sits alone within the room with the flowers and the candles sketching,” mentioned Pierpaolo Piccioli. The down-to-earth designer, who acquired a standing ovation for his magnificent Spring 2019 Valentino present, opened Vogue’s second annual Forces of Trend convention, chatting with Worldwide Editor at Massive Hamish Bowles. Piccioli will quickly have a good time 20 years on the Italian home and spoke about his transfer, in 1999, from the collegial, familial Casa Fendi to Valentino. He wore flip-flops on his first day—a no-no at a label the place formality was de rigueur, opinions have been hardly ever expressed, and the place the air con was hiked up so that folks might put on fits even in summer time. Nowadays, with Piccioli on the helm, the ambiance is rather more relaxed.
Piccioli has by no means sought the limelight for himself and admitted that he’s all the time stood aside. “If you find yourself a child, possibly this isn’t so good, however once you develop up, you perceive that that is going to be your energy, to not suppose in teams however to suppose alone,” he mentioned. “At all times to be in a spot the place you’re not in a field.” This freedom has unleashed some ravishing designs—placing a couture gloss to ready-to-wear—created by two generations of craftspeople with whom Piccioli works facet by facet in his Roman atelier to maintain the dream of couture alive.
Right here, highlights from the panel.
On Loving His Job
“When folks ask me if I really feel the stress of all these collections, I nonetheless bear in mind the child I used to be. This is a chance for me; I really feel fortunate sufficient. I by no means imagined in my life to have all of this, under no circumstances. For me, it was a present; I used to be already joyful earlier than changing into inventive director. As Marcello Mastroianni used to say, ‘If I didn’t do that job, I’d must work in my life.’ It’s the identical for me.”
On His Imaginative and prescient for the Home
“For me, it’s essential to be a couture home, nevertheless it must be related for at the moment—to not stay prior to now. Daily my challenge is to get the home retaining the values of couture, however I need a model alive and never dusty. [This] along with the thought of transferring Valentino from the thought of life-style to neighborhood. Way of life is, for me, a gaggle of those who share surfaces—identical lamps, identical homes, identical holidays—so identical photos. Communities are teams of those who share values. I need to transfer Valentino from the thought of life-style to the thought of communities. Transferring Valentino from the thought of an unique model to an inclusive model, retaining the thought of luxurious and couture, however transferring right into a extra inclusive world.”
On the Significance of Ritual
“You want time and also you want rituals, as a result of couture is manufactured from rituals. That’s a part of couture’s magic. I nonetheless do the fittings on the primary ground and the atelier is on the second ground, they usually come from the second ground to the primary ground masking and wrapping all of the toils with paper, as a result of when couture was born, it was [a] secret; you couldn’t unveil it earlier than the present. I like to keep up all that; the premiere is the primary one to enter into the room—it’s very hierarchic, the couture. You are able to do new issues in couture, however I feel it’s essential to keep up the rituals, the magic that makes couture so particular. It’s an expertise.”
On Change, and Magnificence
“After I noticed Troye Sivan [who stars in the 2018 campaign images] sporting couture items, I felt that it was not so removed from the ’80s of Mr. Valentino. It was the identical sort of magnificence, even when it was a boy sporting a couture costume. To have a boy like Troye who stands up for values I consider in, sporting a bit of couture, for me, that was an indication of change in Valentino. And seeing Frances McDormand [wearing Valentino] on the Met Ball was an indication of change. She embodies the thought of expertise and never solely of magnificence. For me, magnificence shouldn’t be associated to the bodily attributes—for me, magnificence is about grace. It’s one thing interior and to not showcase. I’m obsessive about Renaissance grasp work, and in all of those work, you don’t really feel the thought of magnificence, you’re feeling the thought of grace. Magnificence shouldn’t be about being a technique, [it’s about] uniqueness. Individualism is the one hyperlink between all of the beauties I like.”
On the Dream of Couture
“As I instructed you, once I was a child, I used to be dreaming about couture however I by no means noticed [it] so intently, so couture, for me, was photos [from] superb photographers that I used to see. Couture was not about craft, it was concerning the dream of couture. I bear in mind once I was dreaming of the Deborah Turbeville image of the 4 black attire with the pink [one]. After I noticed these 5 ladies in Roma, the partitions, the wind, I felt this good motion . . . I like to see the photographs as frames or one thing, imagining one thing earlier than, one thing after. I had a sense in my thoughts about this, and once I arrived at Valentino, I requested to see the items as a result of I wished to the touch [them]. And once I noticed [them], they have been under no circumstances as in my creativeness. They have been extra heavy; they have been extra structured. I made a decision in that second that I used to be not going to return and see the archive, simply to maintain the photographs I’ve in my thoughts. That’s the best way I work with couture. I like to consider the previous however to not see the previous. I really feel that your eyes change what you’ll see, since you put your creativeness on one thing.”