On July 15, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli unveiled Valentino’s Fall/Winter 2021 Haute Couture collection. The show was set against Gaggiandre at the Arsenale in Venice with La Biennale di Venezia, and was live-streamed worldwide. The Gaggiandre houses two magnificent shipyards with a large internal dock, built between 1568 and 1573. It’s part of the Arsenale—the largest production centre in Venice during the pre-industrial era—which also hosts the International Art and Architecture Exhibitions and the International Dance, Music, and Theatre Festivals of La Biennale di Venezia.
Related article: Review of Jean Paul Gaultier Fall/Winter 2021 Couture Collection
The runway set paid homage to its venue’s iconic and symbolic status by featuring a functional-only set up without any architectural intervention to the natural frame of the space. It was also in tribute to the city of Venice and its rich, cultural panorama—a municipality which Piccioli has drawn on for inspiration.
Related article: Review Of The Balenciaga 50th Couture Collection
“Venice was part of the vision I had from the very beginning: It was the only place in the world in which to present such a collection, a context where nothing can be added or subtracted: the light and power of Venice are the perfect setting in which I’d love to immerse my work,” said Piccioli in a press statement.
Related article: Review Of Fendi Fall/Winter 2021 Couture Collection
Art and fashion meet in the Valentino Des Ateliers collection as Piccioli draws inspiration from a group of contemporary artists, chosen together with Gianluigi Ricuperati, in order to create the dresses. He also enlisted a group of painters of all ages, background and aesthetic into the atelier, and involved them in a series of dialogues.
The result? A collection comprising masterful layering of vibrant colours and cuts; grandiose ball gowns draped in a way that enables fluid movements; and silhouettes that were either long and layered, or short and sculptural.