If you thought fashion's love affair with logos was going anywhere, guess again. In fact, it appears to only be leveling up for Spring 2023.
At the Valentino show, held at the Carreau du Temple in Paris' 3rd arrondissement, the luxury brand took logomania to new heights, opening with a model literally decked head to toe in its signature V logo: her face painted with it, wearing sheer gloves and stockings covered with it, her pointed-heel pumps bearing it.
It's certainly eye-grabbing, but it's a more neutral direction for a brand that has anchored its collections around a color or a specific palette. In face, Spring 2023 represents a departure from Pierpaolo Piccioli's usual sartorial rainbow — instead, there's an emphasis on browns, creams and blacks, with the occasional dash of yellow, red, green, lilac or blue. Even when the looks skew brighter, the focus remains on the silhouette (a sharp tailoring moment or a dramatic side cut) or on an embellishment (all-over beading that draws the eye on a mini, a glittery pleat that beams across the front of a coat, gauzy ruffles that give volume to a shirt dress).
The Spring 2023 show was titled "Unboxing Valentino," the brand writing in the show notes that the collection is about "pureness as a conscious synthesis, the intentional removal of what exceeds." This pared-back vision allows for more individual expression, for the person that wears the clothes to bring more of themselves to them. "Unboxing an image means unboxing an idea," the notes read. "Get rid of the structure and you will see what's inside."
That makes sense for Piccioli's Valentino, which has successfully aligned itself with power players, with people who something to say, with those who wear their clothes versus the other way around — the Zendayas, the Florence Pughs, the Lewis Hamiltons of the world. Still, it would've been great (and more impactful) to see this collection on a range of bodies, to really drive home this message of authenticity and celebrating people as they are. (Piccioli has cast non-sample-sized models in the past for Valentino, but not for this show.)
One cool thing about the Spring 2023 debut: Instead of having all the models loop back around the runway for the finale, Valentino had them assemble and walk outside all together, so the (very large) crowds waiting on the street could see the collection, too. Piccioli even stepped out with them. How's that for a reveal?
See the full Valentino Spring 2023 collection in the gallery below.