The habitat of Haute Couture – a space of expectation and wonder, where dreams become realities through its specific rites and rituals. For Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli, the salon represents both a return and a departure – simultaneously an honouring of tradition and a new proposal, of an Haute Couture innately reflective of contemporaneous values and needs. The Valentino Le Salon Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2024 collection is deeply rooted in modern life, in the today. Yet in this seemingly radical reflection of our world it actually returns to the original intention of Couture, its genesis in realities. True dressing – the timeless essence of Haute Couture.
The collection is an interplay of pieces, a modern wardrobe – the clothes of our time. Considering every item individually recalibrates each ensemble as a harmony, explorations of synchronic contrasts of color, texture, and essential meaning in every garment. Instinctive and unexpected juxtapositions ignite imagination, inspire emotion – outfits become paradoxical, colliding pragmatism and fantasy, differing volumes, abstract sensation. They evoke a freedom of expression synonymous with a love of true fashion.
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Haute Couture is an obsessive quest for perfection, allied with a passion for the hand, a fascination with process. Jewellery twists infinite ribbons of gold around the body, defying gravity. Fashioned through textiles and technique, inventing an illusion of exotic skins, fur and feathers – rouleaux of silk organza and hand-cut sequins replicate the spirit of the natural through the art of human ingenuity.
In an age obsessed with the artificial, the unbelievable, here is the real. The Salon gives a tangibility, a sensorial physicality to the ephemeral. The ceaseless creation at the heart of Haute Couture allows any possibility – technique invents new actualities, fabrics magically lightened, materiality transformed. Contradiction is inherent in Haute Couture – simplicity is complex, spontaneity the result of carefully considered gesture.
The nuances, the intricacies, the true meanings of Haute Couture must be appreciated at proximity. Familiar to many, rich with memory and recollection, the Salons of Valentino in Place Vendôme become a unique arena for this rendezvous – a codified space of intimate revelation, of private contemplation. Resonant with the history of Haute Couture, the ambiance of these Salons can serve as a fundamental recontextualization, a shift of perception, a reset of core values and attitudes for now.
The Salon here is not a stage, but rather a cultural milieu, to valorise craft, to celebrate the act of creation. It is a place to bear witness to beauty, therefore to experience humanity. It is the heart of Haute Couture.
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