For the last 12 months, fashion became synonymous with comfort and leisure. Sweatsuits, sneakers, crocs, athleisure sets and flipflops became the way of life. Everything extravagant took a backseat, especially when it came to footwear. That was until Pier Paolo Piccioli decided to remind the world that there will be life post-pandemic which will require you to strut down the street in a statement-making pair of shoes. For his haute couture spring/summer 2021 presentation for Valentino during the Paris Fashion Week, the designer decided to bring back the towering platforms, originally popularised in pop-culture by Lady Gaga in the early 2000s.
Exhibiting his usual flair for drama, Piccioli designed a line of bright-hued gowns, separates, ball-room skirts, knitted vests, cut-out capes and jackets and complemented them with chunky platform heels in metallic gold, silver, fuchsia, ivory, fawn and multiple shades of glitter. Evoking the spirit of hope this Spring/Summer, Pier Paolo used fashion as a tool of escapism from reality, by creating a world of high-octane glamour.
Inspired by the first form of platform shoes – Venetian slippers, worn by aristocrats on unpaved, muddy streets during the Renaissance, Valentino’s creative director was impressed by their sense of style irrespective of their surroundings. He metaphorically translated the sentiment through his Summer/Spring collection, by serving serious runway struts in big, block, gigantic heels. The shimmering footwear was smartly paired with subtle-muted silhouettes, while the neutral-hued shoes were styled with opulent garments.
By striking the right balance between minimalism and maximalism, he managed to showcase the current reality of the times we are living in. We are far from the finish line when it comes to the pandemic, but we are currently more prepared and medically equipped to defeat the virus than we were last year. So this collection perfectly summarised our going-out-somedays-but-staying-in-most-days mood.
The designer also paid homage to those who bring his fashion vision to life by closing the show with all the members of the atelier by his side as he took the final bow.
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