Fashion house - 3/15/23
Maison Valentino celebrates the essential spark that leads to the flowering of many blooms. This is Unboxing Valentino, the collection from the Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli for Spring/Summer 2023 that takes the deconstruction as the basis for a wholly new creative construct. Unboxing is the concept that has brought forth this profoundly empowering collection, which activates - like a game of pass the parcel - nine interpretations by brilliant stylists to unfurl around the world and online.
Each stylist will interpret the collection in their own visual vernacular, and in doing so make the undeniable claim that there is vast diversity and complexity within purity. Unboxing celebrates the limitlessness of creative impulse and execution - clothes are statements, and who better to interpret their multiple meanings and messages than those who speak their language?
By removing the inessential, essence is revealed, and applied to a multiplicity - of bodies, faces, histories, hues and textures. The cipher for this movement is the Toile Iconographe, made from the repeating VLogo, which adorns prêt-à-porter items as well as Valentino Garavani accessories. Encapsulating the paradoxical and complex message of the collection, the initial - the unequivocal assertion of identity - blurs into a pattern that nullifies its own statement and draws attention to the singularity of the wearer.
This idea is expanded in the whole collection through a genderless approach, precision tailoring and monochromatic looks, making this a wardrobe designed for the exaltation of the individual, in both body and soul. Minimalism of forms allows for the focus to fall on fine differences and slight distinctions, while looks draw
attention to their own drapery and design.
Aesthetic specificity becomes supple, malleable, and in service to true individuality. The city is a complex system of streets, metro lines, and plazas. An organism made of repeating patterns. Each urbanism has its own unique signature but they all share the propensity for repeated patterns and as such, each talented stylist similarly interjects and harmonises its creativity responding to the collection and the heritage of the Maison through their window displays in the context of the city they create in: a fusion of styles and stories formed from time, place and personality.
In New York, Law Roach unfolds his interpretation through a striking space, a box characterized by a deep totalizing red which becomes a real-life manifestation of the Unboxing concept. An homage to Mr. Valentino’s SS 1992 campaign as captured by Steven Meisel, Law will also cover a vintage car with the Valentino Toile Iconographe pattern, in a demonstration of its versatility - and velocity.
Rebecca Corbin-Murray’s concept takes inspiration from the black runway look with yellow 3D flowers, and in the window in London, projected yellow flowers form the backdrop for all-black looks, inviting contrast between the essential silhouette and the vibrancy of blooming.
This window will capture nature’s unboxing, represented by yellow - the colour of the sun, buttercups and the hearts of flowers but a bridge to the complex energies of the psychedelic psyche.
Across the channel, Clement Lomellini brings Unboxing to Paris. Bright shades create a dynamic display, while the Valentino Toile Iconographe pattern draws attention to the naturally repeating. Black gowns with selective cut-outs and see-through fabrics force an awareness of the body as made up of disparate yet continuous elements. The mannequins appear through a torn paper backdrop, staging the drama of a physical unboxing, the act of tearing the paper from the object you just can’t wait any longer to open.
In Milan, Lorenzo Posocco incorporates everyday scenes into the display of the iconic boutique on Via Montenapoleone, capturing the relationship between the street scenes that pass by the windows every day and the becalmed world of the store within. Cities are formed of such a cross-pollination, charging the looks with purpose and relevance. By placing a cubed video screen showing street scenes of Milan inside the display, Lorenzo invites viewers into a reality where the exalted world of fashion meets the intimacy of the everyday in an homage to the energy of the city.
Cool aquamarine and gold create the feel of a fishtank in Dubai, where Anna Dello Russo employs colourblock and a profusion of Valentino Garavani accessories to manifest a sense of abundance; feathers, fluff, gloves and bags paint the mannequins like tropical fish, creating a limpid window from the street into a bright and beautiful world. Fantasy reigns supreme in this display, inviting passers-by to slip off their shoes and dive right in.
In Shanghai , Mix Wei honors traditional Chinese painting, in which only five colours are used to conjure a vast diversity of natural expressions. This window will incorporate Chinese painting through scrolls printed with the Valentino Toile Iconographe hanging from the ceiling, while five looks stand before them representing the essential materials from which all visual art is created. Complexity is broken down into the purest idea: the singular elements that make up the worlds of art and creation, represented in single colours.
Geum Nam Hwang titles her Seoul installation “Unbox Me”. The puzzle of the Soma Cube, a reinterpreted transparent block that fits together, functions as a metaphor for the way that the individual is a composite of disassembled elements. Pale, neutral shades provide a moment of calm in the midst of the city, while Valentino Garavani pieces rest atop Soma shapes, inviting every viewer to dismantle what they know of themselves in the pursuit of the essential within.
Masataka Hattori creates a natural enclave in the streets of Tokyo , in his staging of the relationship between the natural and the constructed. By combining natural, earth-toned looks with Valentino Layers giving a sense of the modern and light, Masataka ushers in a sense of natural beauty. This homage to trees, stones and sand is a paean to the raw materials from which sensibility springs.
The ninth window exists online, to allow everyone regardless of location to discover the Unboxing Valentino collection for themselves. Created by styling duo Grandquist, Alexandra and Mackenzie, this digital display features mannequins suspended on elevated triangular platforms in a backdrop of intense red, the colour that expresses Valentino’s purest essence and calls back to its very beginning.
Adding up to the individual window displays, there will be in-store activations including styling sessions with an abundance of talented stylists. These sessions will take place in multiple cities on top of the above, offering the opportunity to explore more of the Unboxing Valentino collection in person. In addition, a chat experience created in partnership with GameOn Technology, that powers authentic conversational experiences, uses AI to enable a whole new way to discover more about the collection and the activations for those at home, creating dynamic social interactions regardless of location.
To continue the viewer’s immersion in individual curation, the stylists will also create an ad hoc playlist on Spotify that will be streamed in the selected boutiques throughout the duration of their installation. A QR code placed on a personalized cube within the window concept will be linked to a dedicated playlist for each stylist on the Maison Valentino Spotify page, allowing channels of inspiration to inhabit aural as well as visual space.
Unboxing Valentino removes the inessential. The collection powers its ever expanding creative community through these simultaneous, worldwide window activations, creating a global conversation from a single word. Unboxing makes the statement that the beauty of the individual is realised through the power of attention, unleashed by creative precision and insight, and passed from person to person. Through subtraction, pure essence is revealed: from this ground, infinite pathways open.
VALENTINO MILANO MONTENAPOLEONE - VIA MONTE NAPOLEONE 20 - 20121, MILANO MI
VALENTINO TOKYO OMOTESANDO - OMOTESANDO HILLS, MAIN BLDG. 1F/2F - 4-12-10 JINGUMAE - SHIBUYA-KU TOKYO - 150-0001
VALENTINO FASHION AVENUE THE DUBAI MALL - FINANCIAL CENTER ROAD - FASHION AVENUE, THE DUBAI MALL - BOULEVARD FLOOR - DUBAI
VALENTINO SOHO NEW YORK - 135 SPRING STREET - NEW YORK, NY 10012
VALENTINO SEOUL SHINSEGAE GANGNAM - SEOUL SEOCHO-GU, SINBANPO-RO 176 - SHINSEGAE DEPT. GANGNAM STORE 2/F - 06546
VALENTINO PARIS RUE ST. HONORÉ - 273 RUE SAINT HONORÉ - 75008 PARIS
VALENTINO SHANGHAI IFC - SHANGHAI SHANGHAI PUDONG NEW AREA - 8 CENTURY AVENUE LUJIAZUI - SHOP L1-27 & L2-27, SHANGHAI IFC MALL - 200120
VALENTINO LONDON OLD BOND STREET - 39 OLD BOND STREET - LONDON W1S 4QP