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Designer Of The Year: 5 Things We Love About Valentino's Pierpaolo Piccioli

On occasion of Pierpaolo Piccioli clinching the Designer of the Year title at 2018's Fashion Awards, we list the five things we love about the creative director's solo stint at Valentino.

For the uninitiated, the Fashion Awards 2018 — hosted by the British Fashion Council — is a yearly event that commemorates exceptional individuals in the fashion industry. Held at The Royal Albert Hall in London on 10 Dec, it was an evening that spotlighted key leaders of the industry that’ve transformed the fashion brands we all know and love.

Up against heavy-weights such as Alessandro Michele, Clare Waight Keller, Kim Jones and Virgil Abloh, it was Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli who walked away with the title of Designer of the Year — and it’s not hard to see why. Above, we list five things we love about the his solo tenure at Valentino thus far.

#1: Showcasing Valentino’s Italian heritage with the Resort 2019 collection
Paying homage to the brand’s heritage, Piccioli took to the streets of Rome with his Resort 2019 collection. By mixing masculine and feminine silhouettes, he showcases a modern perspective on fashion, at the birthplace of the house no less. Image: Instagram (@maisonvalentino) 2. His Pre-Fall 2019 collection was culturally sensitive
In the world where culture sensitivity is becoming more urgent (re: the Dolce & Gabbana drama), Piccioli’s latest collection for Valentino is a fine example of the culturally inspired done right. Drawing inspiration from the Japanese, he incorporated two key elements at Pre-Fall 2019: the wabi-sabi (which celebrates the idea of imperfection) and “ma” (a term to describe unoccupied space), presenting an array of airy, red ruffled dresses that are still in line with the maison’s aesthetics. Image: Instagram (@maisonvalentino) #3: Celebrating modern gender norms and expectations with Moncler Genius
While Valentino gowns have traditionally been dreamy confections for women, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s work for Moncler Genius on Ezra Miller — a floor-length, sweeping rendition, no less — is simply too good to ignore. Though Piccioli might not have had a hand in dressing Miller for the carpet, it is his design that’s, in this context, pushing the envelope of gender norms and expectations. Image: Instagram (@moncler) #4: He knows how to remain relevant
Instead of going streetwise entirely with S/S ’19’s menswear collection ranging tracksuits, bucket hats and logomania by way of an archival print, he’s tempered the sneakers with a touch of the maison’s couture charm. Spot the fantastic feathers on those chunky runners. Image: Instagram (@maisonvalentino) #5: He is versatile, having proven his prowess both as part of a duo and, as a solo designer
When Maria Grazia Chiuri left Valentino for Dior, many waited with bated breath to see what the long-standing duo had in store as solo creatives at their respective brands. No doubt, Piccioli has since proved his worth collection after collection since going solo at Valentino — ones that are usually replete with house codes and the maison’s couture know-how, cast through a modern lens. Image: Instagram (@maisonvalentino)