On the side­lines of Valentino’s pre-fall 2019 col­lec­tion in Tokyo, Sarah Maisey speaks to the brand’s cre­ative di­rec­tor, Pier­paolo Pic­ci­oli, about walk­ing in the foot­steps of a le­gend, and his new­found sense of free­dom and au­then­tic­ity

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From the front row of Valentino’s pre-fall 2019 show in Tokyo

Any­one who has been for­tu­nate enough to visit Tokyo will ap­pre­ci­ate its unique al­lure. A city of con­tra­dic­tions, it is calm yet fast­paced, old but at the same time new. So it is not dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand why Pier­paolo Pic­ci­oli, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Ital­ian fash­ion house Valentino, chose this cu­ri­ous city for the un­veil­ing of his pre-fall 2019 col­lec­tion.

With a shared a love of beauty and re­fine­ment, both Tokyo and Valentino re­main loyal to a rich past while look­ing res­o­lutely to the fu­ture. One Ja­panese el­e­ment in par­tic­u­lar that caught Pic­ci­oli’s imag­i­na­tion is wabi-sabi, the Ja­panese be­lief, with no western equiv­a­lent, that flaws and im­per­fec­tions are an in­trin­sic part of beauty. This is sup­ported by a tra­di­tion of re­pair­ing broken ob­jects with gold, so that the break it­self be­comes some­thing pre­cious.

The Ital­ian fash­ion house pre­sented its lat­est col­lec­tion in a bar­ren con­crete space in Down­town Tokyo

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