RED VALENTINO PRE-FALL 2021

“The age of innocence is over. A new self-awareness takes center stage.”

By Balthazar Malevolent

RED VALENTINO PRE-FALL 2021

Sometimes when a little sister is growing up, you don’t pay much attention to her. Then one day you realize that she has grown into a rebellious, daring beauty, ready to shed layers of demure bon-ton in favor of more free-spirited self-expression. Metaphorically speaking, this is what is happening to the Red Valentino line: After living quietly in the shadow of its big sister line, it’s coming of age—in its own way.

Pierpaolo Piccioli has been injecting more energy and a daring sense of style into RV collections for quite some time, trying to amp up the label’s appeal to better resonate with the times. But the direction he’s taking feels more assertive now, as the press notes stated: “The age of innocence is over. A new self-awareness takes center stage.”

This isn’t to say that the Red Valentino customer isn’t a romantic, nor that she has ditched the femininity that’s intrinsic to the label. For pre-fall, she just jazzed it up with bolder twists and a fearless clash of contrasts. Ethereal point d’ésprit mixed with crisp techno faille; billowy ruffles sprouted from oversized sweats and hoodies; and blown-up utility anoraks and voluminous padded piumino capes were trimmed with delicate tulle volants. Bows and ribbons peeked out from repurposed denim pieces, while trench coats featured raw-hem trimmings and ample, gathered crinoline backs. See-through pieces abounded, signaling a more sensual and instinctual direction, which was highlighted by the lookbook images, lensed by the Italian photographer Margherita Tamraz.

“I wanted to convey a less innocent and delicate attitude, more self-conscious and confident,” Piccioli explained via email. “Instead of working on a sort of storytelling, we put more focus on the creation of bold, unique pieces, highly designed and with a sense of customization, to convey uniqueness and a distinctive personality.” Piccioli is certainly right. As Coco Chanel famously said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

Red Valentino Pre-Fall 2021

In other news, Proenza Schouler Pre-Fall 2021. In a normal year, these dresses would be destined for summer weddings and other special occasions. Nobody knows if those dates will hold, if the vaccine will be widely available by then or if we’ll still be waiting.

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