Valentino SS18 Editorial

Pierpaolo Piccioli's tenure at Valentino continues

Camouflage Tee

Following the departure of his long-time creative Paramore Maria Grazia Chiuri - who left Valentino to become the first female Creative Director at Dior - Pierpaolo Piccioli was set free to explore an expression of contemporary Valentino that was singularly his.

His vision debuted for AW17, taking most notable form in the guise of an electric collaboration with defining force of the British punk aesthetic Jamie Reid, and while the success of Piccioli's first solo foray for Valentino was underlined by critical acclaim and commercial success, the revelation of the SS18 collection made one thing clear: Pierpaolo is just getting started.

Presenting his SS18 collection in a private mansion on 51 Avenue D'Léna - a decadent neighbourhood in the 16th arrondissement of Paris - a deliberate appeal to a younger market stormed the runway in the form of a sportswear-centric collection which was markedly devoid of all suiting or suggestions of the sartorial. A distinct subversion of the storied Italian label's formal wear legacy, Pierpaolo's shirking of the traditional in favour of capturing the patronage of the streetwear sect was both welcome and well done.

The return of the 80's 'VLTN' insignia and it's generous application across a range of street-ready pieces is perhaps most emblematic of this seismic change of pace at Valentino. Speaking backstage after the show, Pierpaolo highlighted that the decision to revive the retired moniker in the label's iconic typography was driven almost entirely by a subset of millennial designers working in the brand's Parisian atelier. A direct intention of the resurgence of unmissably graphic branding was to appeal to a younger set of streetwear fanatics, whose predilection for hype names and luxury brands is driven by the peacocking of exotic and covetable logos.

Living up to his legacy as an unbeatable accessories designer, the season's offerings of bags and sneakers was masterfully balanced between the established codes of the house and this change of gear towards a street-focused DNA.

Delivering an exciting new chapter in the Valentino saga each season, Pierpaolo Piccioli's second solo menswear collection is now available at END.

writerEuan Smart