Valentino: Couture in ChÃteau de Chantilly

Valentino: Couture in Château de Chantilly

An epic sunset show and a vital ValentinoChantilly

Valentino haute couture fall 2024 –

Fashion houses now compete intensely for the most amazing show location. This season, Valentino won that competition hands down, as Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli

Yet this was a new take on couture by Pierpaolo, more understated, much younger and less obsessed with extolling the complicated technical tricks and details of couture.

Kaia Gerber led the cast of 76 models out in a wide-cut sparkling anthracite jeans and a mannish white cotton tuxedo shirt, which didn’t seem terribly couture, but made the American supe look exquisite and ever so edgy. Aided by stupendous layered bar Art Deco earrings, and a great new flat shoe – an elongated flat with a huge bow. Pretty well every model wore flats, the odd gal an open-toed boot.
The third look was a black beauty with an enormous shaggy afro dressed in a pure white sculptural gown, acting as if she owned the chateau. A Bridgerton moment as if Lady Danbury had just bought Chantilly.
Indeed, the single most beautiful look was a dark salmon-hued silk faille open backed gown on Adut Akech that the model ore with supreme pride.
Presented before the 18th-century castle, where the cast walked down the massive stone stairway before wandering around a faux-concrete catwalk in the historic parkland. Underlining the sense of Italian triumph, Donatella Versace
“Formidable,” Versace thrilled as a small gang of security and English toady PRs stayed glue to her.

Valentino haute couture fall 2024 –

A rambling show of 76 looks but that only made it more dramatic. Including several quintets of looks focused on specific colors – hunter green; a lighter Yves Klein blue and numerous sinful Valentino reds.
“I wanted an expression of equality in a chateau, a castle which is known for rules. No kings, no queens or princesses, just humans. In design I wanted to capture movement and lightness in one frame,” Pierpaolo told
“Like the last dress in washed chiffon on Vittoria Ceretti that caught the wind. I wanted super simple, and experiments that look effortless,” he added, referring to the final look that fluttered with great charm.
All backed up by a perfect soundtrack – a blend of a half-dozen Antony and the Johnsons songs, their yearning romanticism adding poignancy to the event.
At the finale, Piccioli sportingly toured the 700-meter catwalk with his entire atelier of over 80 staff. Some of them so venerable, they limped around the runway.
There have been times this season in Paris when fashion professionals could have felt like extras in ‘The Rules of the Game’ – Jean Renoir’s meditation on the artistic elite’s distance and foreboding about the conflict that would become World War Two. After a week of unrest in France and the continuing tragedy of Putin’s dastardly war against Ukraine, ephemeral fashion seems faintly immoral. 
But tonight’s performance by the house of Valentino was a reminder that humankind does not just need peace, civility, justice and family. It also needs beauty, a fundamental right and, indeed, necessity. And no designer has expressed that desire better this year than Pierpaolo Piccioli for the house of Valentino today in Chantilly.


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