Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli has been wandering through the USA for a while now, always drawing inspiration from the country for his new collections. For his RED Valentino fall/winter 2017-18 ready-to-wear collection, unveiled in New York yesterday, the Italian designer jumped from Ellis Island, where he figuratively moved for his Valentino pre-fall 2017 collection, to Ohio, where the biggest Amish community resides.
Known for their strict religious rules, modest fashions, and reluctance to adopt modern technologies, the Amish are a group of traditionalist Christians with Swiss Anabaptist origins, the founder of which was actually a tailor himself. “There’s something that fascinates me about the Amish community,” Pierpaolo Piccioli revealed backstage. “In today’s world, a community not caught up in individual accomplishment is really appealing. And the fact that the founder of the Amish, Jakob Ammann, was a tailor was interesting to me, too. He understood the influence dress had on life.”
And while the influences that play upon the dresses of the Amish community’s members are mostly those of a religious faith that displays obedience to the church through them, too, the ones that Piccioli tries to evoke with the RED Valentino fall 2017 rtw collection are definitely more frivolous. The best part regarding this RED Valentino collection lies in the way Piccioli managed to keep mainstream and Amish fashions together, while at the same time tearing them apart.
Although being unapologetically frivolous, and totally in contrast with the Amish beliefs regarding fashion, this latest collection of Piccioli’s was extremely soigné, richly textured and even utilitarian in most of the figures, with the majority of them being either structured or extremely relaxed.
Filled with separates, the RED Valentino fall/winter 2017-18 collection takes some of the most remarkable tailoring techniques of the Amish, such as quilting, and translates them to something that is as modern as timeless, with even symbolic details, such as eyes stitched on the dresses serving both as fashion statements, and as amulets meant to protect the wearer.
Other Amish-inspired fashions include sharp A-line skirts, rigid shirts, and ultra-cozy warm sweaters, the texture of which looks purposely raw and homespun (and which were honestly making us wish for a RED Valentino see-now-buy-now collection so that we could wear them immediately).
When it come to the color palette and the prints utilized, the RED Valentino fall/winter 2017-18 collection was, instead, slightly different from the standard Amish-inspired dress code. Although earth tones such as brown, black, and blue are to be found both in the Amish dresses and Piccioli’s proposals, with the sole exception of red, which is often forbidden to the former, prints such as abstract designs and floral patterns are solely to be found in this collection of Piccioli’s, who effortlessly added intricate embroideries to most of his garments.
One of the biggest differences between Valentino’s modern and the rigorous Amish worlds is displayed through the abounding amount of accessory pieces and sheer appliqués, as both patterns are nowhere to be found on someone who lives the Amish life.
With the RED Valentino fall/winter 2017-2018 collection still showing one of the USA’s multifaceted sides, where will Piccioli take us for his upcoming Valentino fall 2017 line? Is he going to travel all the way to Los Angeles, as more and more designers are doing?
Photos courtesy of Vogue