For its return to Paris and Paris Fashion Week, Valentino pulled out all the stops. It wasn't just another runway show; it was a celebration. The Valentino spring/summer 2022 runway show took place within and around Le Carreau du Temple. Models started out in the multi-purpose space which was turned into a maze of two-person seating à la the typical Parisian terrace seating, before making their way out into the dark of the night along rue Dupetit Thouars.
And around the vicinity of the show venue, Valentino is currently taking over four boutiques until 5 October 2021, each representing a different facet of the maison. One of which, stocks the limited-edition (V)Vaccinated hoodies, while another is a discovery of 'Valentino Open for Change', sustainably created sneakers that are available for pre-order ahead of their official launch towards the end of the year.
A lot happened and is happening for Valentino throughout Paris Fashion Week. It's a way for the maison to connect with its Parisian audience once again after being away for more than a year. And also to show that its relevance is not only rooted to its haute couture sensibilities, but also that it is grounded in real world values and applications. That was the theme that creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli wanted to embody in the spring/summer 2022 collection.
Look and feel: In many ways, the Valentino spring/summer 2022 collection was a strengthening of the maison's codes while reimagining Valentino for the now. As teased in the pre-show visuals, Piccioli took pieces from the archive and thoroughly reproduced them as perfect examples of the maison's enduring legacy. They may be styled differently for the show (and for today's context), but essentially, they're historical displacements that clearly are able to stand the test of time. In menswear, the 'Valentino Archive' (as they're tagged) pieces largely come in the form of denim jeans that grounded the collection's more luxe fabrications and treatments.
Generally, there was a heavy use of the couture-linked taffetas that were treated in a myriad of ways. The rich, acid-hued fabrics were expertly fashioned into flou-filled tailoring with different-coloured layers often beautifully matched together in one outfit. The outfits were vibrant and had that signature taffeta sheen, but at the same time, designed to not be as precious as they seem—exemplified by strategic splicing of seams.
Favourite looks: The multi-layered and multicoloured look 17 was aesthetically so simple to put together but had so much personality—a drop-shoulder coat worn over a cleanly designed shirt matched with shorts paired with matching short tights, and all topped with a pearl necklace (a personal favourite of mine). Then there's look 40's deliciously crafted oversized gilet that seemed to cover everything save for a peek of an inner top. Trust Piccioli to create an oversized outerwear that would've otherwise been unfortunately compared to that of a flasher coat.
For the perfect embodiment of that flou tailoring I mentioned before, there's look 41 with a rather tonal approach of an aubergine suit with a magenta shirt affixed with a neck scarf. It's something Harry Styles would look at home in, no doubt—a soft boy aesthetic but definitely edgier and more current.
Favourite accessories: As someone who loves pearl necklaces (they're such simple accessories that classes anything up), it's really Valentino spring/summer 2022's offering that caught my attention. They're a full round of pearls with the addition of the V logo right in the middle.
But when it comes to bags, there's nothing quite like the Valentino Garavani Roman Studs and look 80's messenger version is one that's bound to stick around for years and would still remain stylish beyond that. As for footwear, I'm eyeing the versatile studded slides (looks 32 and 65) worn with socks because they toe the fine line between unnecessary and just pure genius for me.