Harper's Bazaar Australia|November 2019
That said, the pose is somewhat paradoxical. Not to say that Piccioli isn’t a thinker; his work is embedded with intellect, often referencing works of art and literature. The latter reflects his studies at Sapienza University of Rome in the 1980s, before he switched to fashion design at Istituto Europeo di Design. Nevertheless, Piccioli works not from the head but from the heart. Or maybe the soul. “I follow my instinct now,” he says. “I think with this job you can change people’s perception.” Incidentally, Rodin initially called that crouched-up, contemplative bronze The Poet, which is definitely Piccioli. There is a poetic bent to his vision, one that involves chiffon and bows and cascades of taffeta and ostrich feathers in the brilliant, vivid colours of Romanesque frescoes. Even his ready-to-wear is poetic: his A/W 2019 collection literally so, inspired in part by the Movement for the Emancipation of Poetry, the Italian organisation that anonymously plasters the streets of Rome, where the Valentino studio is based, with its works. That was mirrored in the cut-andpaste motifs of amorously embracing neoclassical statues, flowers and snippets of text that decorated the clothes. The prints were a collaboration or, to borrow Piccioli’s turn of phrase, a “conversation” with Jun Takahashi of the cult Japanese label Undercover, which crossed over from his January menswear show and heightened the idea of the Valentino man and woman as star-cross’d (and well-dressed) lovers; the words were culled from spoken-word prodigy Mustafa the Poet’s performances.
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