Thursday 9th July

| BY Claudia Croft

Valentino: Resort 2021

You can trust in Pierpaolo Piccioli to have an emotionally intelligent, creative response to a global pandemic. With various degrees of lockdown restrictions still in play across Europe, the Valentino designer had to forgo a show. Instead, he turned photographer. The designer shot this Resort 2021 collection, himself, on the beach of his home town of Nettuno, just a short journey from Valentino’s Rome ateliers. To add to the intimacy, he called upon his good friend Mariacarla Boscono to model and produced a set pictures that telegraph a mood of sun-drenched intimacy, warmth, colour, comfort and relaxation.

His aim he said of the lo-fi set up was to get across his message “with no filters, no manipulation, no other interpretation or mediation,” adding: “what I was interested in focusing on was what I’ve missed most in this confinement— the simple feeling of human connection, of shared love and friendship. This is what I wanted to bring about in my images.” The intimacy and immediacy of the images belies the complexity of the clothes. His flowing, voluminous shapes look simple but are the result of many hours of intense technical study and manipulation. Only a true couture master can hone cut, proportion and balance like this. He described the look as “a radical simplicity.” We call it simply sublime.

Photographs by Pierpaolo Piccioli.