The essential spark that leads to the flowering of many blooms is being celebrated by Valentino. Unboxing Valentino, the collection from their Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli for Spring/Summer 2023 takes 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 unfurl around the world and online.
This concept 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.
Each urbanism has its own unique signature. However, they all share the propensity for repeated patterns. 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. The result is a fusion of styles and stories formed from time, place and personality.
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 also covers a vintage car with the Valentino Toile Iconographe pattern, in a demonstration of its versatility – and velocity.
London: Rebecca Corbin-Murray takes inspiration from the black runway look with yellow 3D flowers. In the window in London, projected yellow flowers form the backdrop for all-black looks. This invites contrast between the essential silhouette and the vibrancy of blooming. This window captures nature’s unboxing, represented mainly by yellow – the colour of the sun, buttercups and the hearts of flowers.
Paris: Clement Lomellini chose bright shades to create a dynamic display, while the Valentino Toile Iconographe pattern draws attention to the naturally repeating. 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.
Milan: Lorenzo Posocco incorporates everyday scenes into the display of the iconic boutique on Via Montenapoleone. This captures 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. 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.
Dubai: Cool aquamarine and gold create the feel of a fishtank. Anna Dello Russo employs colour block and a profusion of Valentino Garavani accessories to manifest abundance. Feathers, fluff, gloves and bags paint the mannequins like tropical fish, transforming a limpid window from the street into a bright and beautiful world. Fantasy reigns supreme, inviting passers-by to slip off their shoes and dive right in.
Shanghai: Mix Wei honors traditional Chinese painting, in which only five colours are used to conjure a vast diversity of natural expressions. The window incorporates 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.
Seoul: Geum Nam Hwang calls her creation “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. Valentino Garavani pieces rest atop Soma shapes, inviting every viewer to dismantle what they know of themselves in the pursuit of the essential within.
Tokyo: Masataka Hattori creates a natural enclave in the streets of Tokyo, in his staging of the relationship between the natural and the constructed. Combining natural, earth-toned looks with Valentino Layers, giving a sense of the modern and light, Masataka ushers in a sense of natural beauty.
What about the Ninth window? Well, it exists online, to allow everyone regardless of location, to discover the Unboxing Valentino collection for themselves. The masterpiece, by styling duo Grandquist, Alexandra and Mackenzie, 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.
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.
The collection powers its ever expanding creative community through these simultaneous, worldwide window activations. A global conversation is created from a single word. Unboxing states 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 and infinite pathways open.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to personally visit all the different countries and see each creation with our very own eyes? We may not be able to do so but if any of you are in any of the countries mentioned above, do try to visit the Valentino store there to personally feel the ambience and energy created by these amazing displays.