THE NEW MASTER
InStyle Australia|June 2020
Valentino’s PIERPAOLO PICCIOLI creates fashion dreams, but his greatest power is being himself
LAURA BROWN
All clothing throughout, Valentino. All accessories, Valentino Garavani

After working at Fendi for almost 10 years, Pierpaolo Piccioli joined Valentino as an accessories designer in 1999. Now, 21 years later, as the sole creative director of the house (following the departure of Maria Grazia Chiuri to Christian Dior in 2016), he has produced some of the most sublime couture and imagery in Valentino’s glittering history. If you are lucky enough to attend a Maison Valentino couture show at Paris’ grand Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, the odds are you will be moved to tears. While each garment is imagined by Piccioli, what makes each collection special is its palpable heart: a combination of Piccioli’s vision and that of his beloved team, who create everything by hand. The members of Valentino’s atelier not only own what they do but are also routinely celebrated, appearing on Piccioli’s Instagram (often with their own soundtrack).

A true couturier, Piccioli is also a true Roman who walks the city (or steps out of restaurants for a cigarette) in his mostly black VLTN tees and sneakers. When he finishes his work in the studio, he jumps into a car to go home to Nettuno, an unpretentious beachside suburb where he was raised and now lives with his wife, Simona; his three children, Benedetta, Pietro and Stella; and their dog, Miranda (named after Priestly, of course).

We meet for lunch at Nino, a restaurant a few blocks from Valentino’s storied headquarters on Piazza Mignanelli, near the Spanish Steps. On the way to our table, Piccioli is stopped by Federico Forquet, a Roman couturier—and Balenciaga protégé—who was active in the 1960s and early 1970s. Now, nearing 90, the elegant Forquet tells Piccioli sincerely that he’d given up on fashion but the designer’s work for Valentino has “reinspired” him. Piccioli smiles widely, says “Grazie mille,” and bounds over to our table.

This sort of interaction is not unusual. Piccioli is routinely stopped by fans and mobbed backstage after his presentations. But he’s not grand. He isn’t humble (an often disingenuous word in fashion) either. Piccioli knows his abilities and how to deploy them, with care, craft and a lack of pretension. And that’s why he is doing something more resonant than creating even the most glorious couture: he’s changing the culture of fashion.

LAURA BROWN: So, Pierpaolo, Federico Forquet just told you that you’ve reinvigorated his love of fashion. He’s not the only one who feels that way.

PIERPAOLO PICCIOLI: He left fashion many years ago because he lost interest in it. So now he told me, “I got emotional from your shows. And, because of you, I found the enthusiasm in fashion again.” That’s the best part of what I do. To have someone not just say, “Your work is beautiful,” but to also be involved in your dream and share the same idea that fashion is magical, and not just marketing, is so personal. And, of course [laughs], I invited him to the next show.

You’ve been doing this for a long time and have always approached fashion with complete optimism. It’s like you’ve peeled away at people’s cold, dead hearts.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM INSTYLE AUSTRALIAView All

THE NEW MASTER

Valentino’s PIERPAOLO PICCIOLI creates fashion dreams, but his greatest power is being himself

9 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

THE STARTUP VANGUARD

CELEBRATING ENTREPRENEURIALISM WITH A HEART-LED TWIST

8 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

SHALOM

FOR SUPERMODEL SHALOM HARLOW, THE GRUELLING DEMANDS OF HER INDUSTRY LED TO A LONG, SELF-IMPOSED HIATUS. NOW, BACK IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA ON HER OWN TERMS, SHE IS READY TO SHARE HER STORY

9 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

PUNK be a LADY

LADY GAGA is returning to her original sound and style, but the thing she wants next might surprise you

7 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

SKIN FOOD

TRIED EVERY LOTION AND STILL NOT SEEING RESULTS? DIETITIANS AND NUTRITIONISTS AGREE: WHAT YOU PILE ON YOUR PLATE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU APPLY TO YOUR FACE

6 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

The Style Set

PIP VASSETT, THE BRAINS BEHIND LUXURY BEDDING, SLEEPWEAR AND HOMEWARES LABEL IN BED, TALKS US THROUGH HER EFFORTLESSLY COOL AESTHETIC, WHICH PRIZES QUALITY DESIGN THAT STANDS THE TEST OF TIME

4 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

leading ladies

Together, they are two of Australia’s most iconic and inherently elegant women. On the 55th anniversary of her fashion label, CARLA ZAMPATTI chats life, family and finding your calling, with women’s rights pioneer and dear friend of 40 years, former governor-general DAME QUENTIN BRYCE

7 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

Beauty Talk

Actor LAURA DERN on going filter-free, owning her sexiness and taking a clean approach to skincare

3 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

Made With Love

Julia Busuttil Nishimura has gathered a legion of fans with her easy-tofollow recipes. Her new cookbook takes comfort food to the next level

9 mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020

Get Your Clicks

Want to treat yourself while supporting local business? Online shopping is a win-win right now, especially with this hot list of brands and the instyle team’s top tips for getting it right

10+ mins read
InStyle Australia
June 2020
RELATED STORIES

Hot Plots Preview!

What Will Happene

4 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
January 18, 2021

bold and beautiful

bold and beautiful

4 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
January 18, 2021

AFTER ALARMISM

THE WAR ON CLIMATE DENIAL HAS BEEN WON. AND THAT’S NOT THE ONLY GOOD NEWS.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
January 18–31, 2021

bold and beautiful

WHAT WILL HAPPEN • Liam receives shocking news. • Thomas makes a heartfelt apology to Hope. • Steffy is torn about divulging the truth when Finn opens up to her about his desire for their future.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
January 11, 2021

Biden Pledges To Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement

“Today, The Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Change Agreement,” tweeted President-elect Joe Biden on November 4, 2020. “And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.”

2 mins read
Reason magazine
February 2021

AS LEADERS SET FRESH CLIMATE GOALS, BIDEN PLEDGES US SUPPORT

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden pledged to rejoin the Paris climate accord on the first day of his presidency, as world leaders staged a virtual gathering to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the international pact aimed at curbing global warming.

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #477

B&B: CONFLICT WITH ZOE AND PARIS

Though she was initially glad to see Paris, Zoe feels it’s time for her sib to move on.

2 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
December 28, 2020

HER TIME TO SHINE!

Up Close & Personal - Beverly Hills, Oct. 27

1 min read
Star
November 23, 2020

DIAMOND WHITE JOINS B&B

The Forrester Creations team meets Zoe’s younger sister, Paris Buckingham, who breezes into Los Angeles this week. According to her portrayer, the siblings couldn’t be more different.

2 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
November 09, 2020

The Guillotine Mystique

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION HAS LONG INSPIRED PROGRESSIVE RADICALS READY FOR CHANGE AT ANY COST.

10+ mins read
Reason magazine
December 2020