There was a comment on Valentino’s Instagram page responding to Pierpaolo Piccioli’s latest haute couture presentation on January 26. It went along the lines of how it takes an Italian in Paris to show the traditional couture houses how things should be done.
Incidentally, Piccioli does wants to overhaul the couture system – which historically is entrenched with notions of elitism and exclusivity. For a start, he built his Anatomy of Couture collection around the issue of body positivity.
In an Instagram post, Piccoli described how “this collection interrogates the body, this collection challenges the canon”. He continued: “It does so, after a long reflection, and it does so in order to represent a wider idea of beauty.”
Valentino showcased its Spring/Summer 2022 couture collection at its Place Vendome headquarters.
To do so, he overhauled how couture is traditionally tailored in the workroom. Instead of relying on the idealised body proportions of a waifish-thin house model on which the clothes are made, Piccioli shook the status quo by using 10 different fit models of various sizes and ages for a more realistic representation of women’s bodies in IRL.
Besides well-known fuller-sized models such as Angeer Amol and Devyn Garcia, the cast also included ‘non-conventional’ models with more relatable body types – think thicker waists, womanly hips, curvier arms. (Just scroll the gallery below for proof).
Pierpaolo Piccioli with his models backstage at the Spring/Summer 2022 couture show. Supermodel Kristen McMenamy (second from left) opened the show.
The clothes – a poetic-meets-sensuous repertoire that comprised taffeta gowns with bows, velvet bustier dresses with thigh-high slits and more – were moulded perfectly to every inch of skin like a dream, enhancing the beauty of the wearer.
Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is how couture should be done in 2022.
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