Pierpaolo Piccioli, the head designer of Valentino, was taken aback when he learned that his teenage daughter Stella had borrowed one of his suits and paired it with a shirt and tie. He was fascinated by the notion that even traditional pieces could appear fresh and innovative to a younger generation. This realization became the starting point for Piccioli’s latest Valentino collection, which was centered around the classic combination of a shirt and tie.
Throughout the collection, the white shirt was a recurrent feature, presented in various shades, but always exuding sophistication and refinement. Piccioli delved into the many different emotions and associations that come with neckties, from school attire to ska music, and demonstrated that when worn with individuality, a necktie can evoke much more than just power and masculinity.
The models for the show were youthful and stylish, with winged eyeliner, neck tattoos, and piercings adding a rebellious edge to the runway. The tailoring was abundant, with both men’s and women’s overcoats and peacoats, some featuring racing-flag intarsias and others dotted with polka dots. The shirts, however, were the stars of the collection – some voluminous, others sleek and adorned with sequins and feathers, turning simple white shirts into formalwear fit for a black-tie event.
Piccioli added a touch of originality to the presentation by having Massive Attack founder Robert Del Naja create a custom soundtrack, adding an electrifying energy to the already captivating display. The show took place at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, and prior to the start, Interview editor in chief Mel Ottenberg asked VIP attendees if they knew how to tie a necktie.
When questioned about the last time he wore a necktie, Piccioli paused before responding, “A long time ago, actually“. Despite this, he masterfully highlighted the timeless allure and versatility of the shirt and tie, demonstrating that even a classic piece can be rejuvenated and made exciting.