May 13, 2021

Valentino Couture Fall 2017

Years ago, John Fairchild had a name for the type of fashion editor who early on embraced the shroudlike avant-garde side of the Eighties, and who appeared to fall into a state of rapture at shows she loved. That name: fashion nun. It wasn’t a compliment.
Would that Mr. Fairchild were around today, to sit down with Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli over a good bottle of red and engage in some serious guy talk about fashion. Perhaps the younger might convince the older that there’s nothing wrong with a little fashion religion.
He’d at least make an impressive case. Piccioli believes genuinely in the power of fashion, couture in particular, to elevate the spirit. Some may find that thought itself profane. At a preview, he explained his premise. “In this moment, everything is digital and about rationalism,” Piccioli said. “I think all of us are looking for something more spiritual, beyond reality. This is really close to the idea of couture because every aspect of the sacred is expressed by rituals, and couture is made by rituals. Sacred is what is beyond reality, what you don’t see but you just feel, you just perceive. What makes couture special, unique and magical is what you don’t see —

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