Monday Muse: Artist Giosetta Fioroni Inspires Valentino
For five years now, designers Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri have held the torch at Valentino. Time flies when you’re trying to move forward and still pay respect to the house codes, right? But the designing duo, who started their tenure at the brand working under Valentino Garavani at the maison’s accessories department, have decided to give their somber-but-beautiful, technically astonishing collections a little more room to breathe. So instead of referencing Delft pottery and Dutch paintings as they’ve done in the past, the pair have decided to take inspiration a little closer to home. Valentino is a Roman fashion house, after all, started to celebrate all of the different ways to express La Dolce Vita. So Piccioli and Chiuri looked to pop art and the work of Italian artist Giosetta Fioroni to create an energetic and vivid collection that’s sure to have the brand’s fans running to the stores in their Rockstuds.
Giosetta Fioroni, a member of the radical School of the Piazza del Popolo was a main reference, but the collection was also a celebration of the art and energy of Rome. Fioroni is known for her monochromatic portraits (perhaps they were a precursor to the vector art craze of the early ’00s?) and creating colorful and irreverent multi-media sculpture/paintings. New York’s Drawing Center recently showcased the artist’s very first solo exhibition last year, bringing together her work in film, painting and more.
It’s a far cry from the highbrow references that the house of Valentino usually draws from, but being that it was a celebration of culture, the designers also decided to throw in touches of the Commedia dellarte, Renaissance fairy tale tapestries — the kids in Italy grow up on these instead of Disney’s saccharine-infused takes on classic fables — and harlequins. But it was the spirit of Giosetta’s blending of high art and lowbrow subjects that really illustrated the new Valentino.
One of Fioroni’s trademark touches is to leave the pencil sketches and renderings in her works in tact, instead of erasing them or painting over them.
In fact, the usually evening-heavy collections of the past were freshened up with the addition of plenty of daywear. Capes were truncated and there were blouses and pants in addition to the floor-sweeping gowns that’ll make the red carpet circuit later this year. Mod optic prints, Peter Pan collars and more will be film fest favorites for Hollywood’s It girls and butterfly prints will be there for those who don’t want to look like a European visitor to the Silver Factory. Every piece had the hand and craftsmanship that Valentino is known for — it was just a lighter touch. The finale gown, with a Fioroni heart on the bodice and a constellation below, illustrated that perfectly.
Shop these iconic Valentino pieces: