Valentino presented its first-ever coed runway show for Pre-Fall 2019 in Tokyo on Tuesday. Pierpaolo Piccioli, who’s been successfully modernizing the luxury house’s culture of couture as sole creative director since 2016, turned to his show’s destination for his latest inspiration, such as the Japanese concept of ma, or “negative space,” wabi-sabi (also known as “the art of imperfection”) and kintsugi — the art form of repairing broken ceramics.

Piccioli maintained Valentino’s signature drama with evening gowns boasting layers upon layers of lace, tulle, ruffles and pleats in bold red, black and gothic florals. While we’ll likely see these red-carpet-ready looks during next year’s awards season, Piccioli’s more everyday ensembles are meant for fashion month’s street style crowd. The designer collaborated with Undercover’s Jun Takahashi on handbags — to be sold exclusively at Valentino’s Tokyo flagship, according to Vogue — Moncler for puffer jackets and young photographer Izumi Miyazaki’s self-portrait prints to adorn a slew of parkas, crewneck pullovers and dresses.

In prepping this show, he’d reached out laterally in two directions to connect with co creators from beyond the exclusive realms of the Roman house. One was the continuation of the creative brainstorming with Jun Takahashi of Undercover that the pair started with Valentino’s menswear. This time they morphed together a print of a 19th-century neoclassical sculpture of kissing lovers with a pop-punkish image of roses. The prints proliferated over coats and dresses, settling most beautifully as a cut-out pink bloom appliquéd on white lace in the breast of a slim cream midi dress.


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