Pierpaolo Piccioli isn't one to stay in one proverbial place for too long when it comes to his work at Valentino. For Spring 2021, he leaned into fashion's casual moment, collaborating with Levi's and reinvigorating the Rockstud with an oversized format on comfortable flats; he cranked the volume back up for Haute Couture, still working with a kind of relaxed glamour but adding back in structure and plopping models on towering platforms. Now, for Fall 2021, his mental pendulum has swung back with a collection presented mostly in shades of black and white.
It's a trick Piccioli has relied on before, most recently in Valentino's Fall 2020 collection. But where that one leaned goth with its oversized shapes and long lengths, the latest autumnal line feels more simple. And shorter: When the show notes say that he "brutally shortens everything," the brand means that skirts are back to mini length and styled with either a stiletto or a knee-high flat boot, and men's pants come cropped.
Shown at Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Teatro d’Europa — an "almost punk gesture" during a time when theatres are closed for Covid-19, according to the show notes — Fall 2021 features an effort at unisex styling, with the peacoat capes worn by both male and female models, and a kind of oversized net turtleneck layered under crisp button downs. It ties into Piccioli's ultimate ambition that his work at Valentino should highlight the individual wearing his clothes
It's the flashes of gold that give life to the collection, especially a leather oversized blazer and a chunky cable knit sweater. And it wouldn't be Valentino without a few evening options for loyal customers and red carpet darlings alike: Standouts included a sequined gown and cape, a dress covered in a fluffy layer of feathers and plenty of sheer, lacy things which have also been given the scissor treatment this season, with pieces of fabric floating away from the body as they move.
It's a sophisticated take on punk, clothes that would be ideal to wear outside — hopefully, in a time when going to the theatre is more mundane than rebellious.
See the complete Valentino Fall 2021 collection in the gallery below: