For one season only, Pierpaolo Piccioli moved the Valentino show from Paris to Milan—a show of support for the home country of both designer and brand. The raw industrial space he chose to show in was disrupted by profusions of lush greenery and flowers hailing from different corners of the world-a subtle extension of the diverse spirit Piccioli has always championed in his work. Another thing at which the designer excels is drama and glamour without any of the stuffiness and fussiness. This season, he takes that lightness even further—a nod to the times we live in and an antidote to its gloom.

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The show opened with sharp little blocks of black and white before print, colour and texture seeped in to infuse the collection with a lighthearted joyousness. All throughout, silhouettes were streamlined, softened, simplified—everything grounded by flat shoes. By paring back his usually fantastical volumes, weightlessness and effortlessness were the qualities that came to the fore. Standout looks included intricate lace shirts for both him and her. There were also other pieces which looked equally arresting on both genders, from blousons and shorts suits to nonchalant blazer-and-blue-jeans combos. 

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Those jeans are a surefire hit. Created in collaboration with Levi’s, it was an updated take on the iconic 517 style from the ’60s conceived through a process Piccioli called resignification—the giving of new value to symbols and ideas from a different time but which are still relevant for today. Other elements that got the remix treatment were the brand’s signature Rockstuds—now supersized—as well as the collection’s print of big beautiful blooms, which was lifted from an archival dress. 

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