Reopening a theater, even though only for the span of a show, is a bold, almost punk gesture: an invitation to aggregation and sharing when these activities are denied. Inside Piccolo Teatro di Milano, a place that for Milan is symbolic of a conscious and progressive way of making culture, the identity of Valentino today materializes with a clear and incisive sign: both sensual and romantic, nourished by memories but not nostalgic. An identity that reflects in a new generation.

With the obsessive determination that guides only radical gestures, Pierpaolo Piccioli makes an authentic fashion gesture and brutally shortens everything. He relies on an irrepressible scissor stroke to draw a short silhouette, hoisted on very high heels or big boots. Men’s trousers, too, are cut neatly above the ankle. The blade acts without any hesitation: with inexorable urgency, it brings the pleated skirt to new proportions, transforms peacoats and jackets into capes, and reduces evening dresses to flying panels held together by ribbons.

The vision of a wardrobe shared between men and women is uncompromising; the choice of limiting colors to black, white, fluorescent acrylics and optical touches of checks, animal prints and polka dots is affirmative. The idea of showing the body by uncovering or veiling parts of it, overlapping nets, lace, and intensely worked surfaces that reveal instead of hiding, is sensual. Punk in spirit, studs multiply on the toe of nude pumps, on Valentino Garavani Rockstud bags with red linings like portable alcoves. Accumulations of rubber petals and macro studs on boots root everything to the ground, in the moment.

Sensuality as an attitude: an awareness of the body that does not deny romanticism but radicalizes it in a libertarian instant. Thoughts guide actions, avoiding schemes and limits, with the grace of memory.