Valentino Act Collection Pays Homage to Culture by Aybuke Barkcin


Dear Shaded Viewers,

Valentino presented its Fall/Winter 21 collection “Valentino Act Collection” digitally from the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, the first public theater in Italy as “a gesture of love from Valentino and Pierpaolo Piccioli that continue to sustain culture by re-opening spaces with the intent to give the Piccolo Teatro di Milano the opportunity to continue its activities and to preserve its human excellences” the brand stated prior to the show.

Similar to the Haute Couture collection, Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli continued the theme of simplicity for this season as well. The black and white colour palette dominated the collection with tailored silhouettes and layered materials.

The colours reminded me of musician Prince’s famous saying, “I was brought up in a black and white world. Black and white, night and day, rich and poor.” Perhaps Piccioli’s focus on the black and white colours didn’t carry a political motivation behind it, but to me it felt like a melancholic reflection of our lives with the pandemic… trying to balance life between the edges.

The collection started with a live cover of Sinead O’Connor’s song “Nothing Compares to You” with a small orchestra playing in front of the main stage. Models walked in the centre of the stage wearing; minidresses, sweaters with diamond patterns, wool capes, crisp white shirts styled with cut-out turtlenecks… all worn with bare legs, “for sensuality” Piccioli explained. The show concluded with sheer chiffon dresses carrying elegant embroideries. A play on Valentino’s codes of romanticism and femininity.

This was a playful and wearable take on the concept of the uniform… perhaps Piccoli’s way of searching for order within all the chaos.

Aybuke Barkcin

Aybüke Barkçin is an art director, photographer, curator and writer that looks at fashion through the lens of political and societal dynamics. She completed her master's Creative Direction in POLIMODA, Italy and has a background in International Relations and Graphic Design. Her work can be found in her website: