Tuesday 27th November

| BY Dino Bonacic

Valentino: Pre-Fall 2019

From Vincent Van Gogh to the Pet Shop Boys, Japanese culture has been making an impact on artists for over a century. It all arguably started in 1854 when Sakoku, Japan’s isolationist foreign policy, officially came to an end at the Convention of Kanagawa. The ports opened up, the trade policies softened – with this very moment, the story of Japan and its history was finally allowed to travel all around the world. All of a sudden, the world’s image of this ancient culture expanded beyond porcelain and lacquered wood. As this treasure chest opened up to the world to enjoy, artists quickly picked up on the richness of its legacy. Some more literally, others in a much more subtle way, but in no time Japan became one of the most referential cultures of the world. And so it stayed like that until this very day, with most fashion designers interpreting the Land of the Rising Sun in their own very way.

Today, it was Pierpaolo Piccioli’s turn as he opened the season of Pre-Fall 2019 destination shows with Maison Valentino in one of Tokyo’s many concrete constructions. Perfectly measured in his exuberance, Piccioli took inspiration from the mindset of wabi-sabi in an acceptance of imperfection and creating a form of ever-evolving beauty. Between recreating classic shapes of Maison Valentino in both men’s and womenswear departments in a fresh way, the looks delicately paid homage to Japan’s fashion heritage. The show opened with a set of exits in the perfect shade of carmine red, which later escalated into black, white and then back into a richer, spicier hue of red – without losing the sight of Maison Valentino, this collection looked perfectly in tune with its setting. As Kaia Gerber closed the show in a ruffled gown of crimson organza, the tone for Pre-Fall 2019 was set – a subdued sensibility of luxury is the way to go.