MFW SS21: Valentino

SEASON upon season, Valentino gives us a slice of wonderland reigniting the belief that fashion is magical. With each collection, Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli gives us a fashion fantasy, and there has been no more appropriate time to dream than now.

Combining womenswear and menswear for this spring/summer 2021 presentation set the tone with the theme of togetherness – an appropriate way to celebrate both sides of the Italian brand.

What Pierpaolo realised this season was that fashion is going to be looked at from a completely new perspective following the events that we as a whole have experienced. The designer never wanted to create an aesthetic at the house, but rather wanted to continue to evolve its identity so that it never becomes outdated nor out of style.

What Valentino does so well is that it walks to its own beat. It has never wanted to be cool or trendy – instead it is about beauty and elegance – two elements that will survive the test of time.

For his first Milan show, extremes were being played with. Extra long or super short, neutral tones against bright, bold colours and lace mixed with nylon, there was fun and there was adventure with the clothes. Masculinity and femininity were blurred at times as more masculine cut blouses were constructed from chiffon and blazers were styled casually.

The collection wanted to redefine its previous extravagance. The clothes screamed couture techniques however balanced simplicity and elegance in a contemporary and appropriate way for today’s new world.

An exciting comeback was made during this collection as the famous Rockstuds were seen again, however this time in macro versions on accessories and shoes.

Alongside this return, a collaboration with Levi’s, the iconic denim brand saw the much loved 1969 517 boot-cut jeans for both men and women. It is not rare for luxury brands to partner with more accessible brands, however this is an exciting relationship as both value and strive for longevity in their products.

Collectively, the show was built from individual pieces rather than full looks and maybe that’s how fashion has shifted during these unprecedented times. Levi jeans among couture-esque dresses made it clear that there is change, a new normal, but one thing is for sure, the fantasy won’t stop.

by Imogen Clark