A collection that spellbound the front row from first to final exit, for his third season solo at Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli's work went from extraordinary to out of this world. Indeed, the moon played a pivotal role in proceedings, with the designer featuring Apollo 8 moon mission photography on his moodboard, along with a reference to The Frenzy of Orlando – a poem in which the moon restores sanity to a mind lost to love.
Known for his exquisite eveningwear and couture approach, there was a freshness to the Spring/Summer 2018 collection, it opening with an array of day looks – replete with plastic biker jackets, upscale anoraks, dusty silken trenches and utility toppers. Erring more on the sporty side yes, but unable to resist that formal edge, there were added details: sequins, panels, pockets and paillettes. Panelled mini dresses, some with floaty handkerchief hems, and all with a mouthwatering mix of colours and prints were key, while high-neck tunics with layered cut-aways, an oversized pussy-bow sweater and a leather mini and sheer mesh-panelled roll-neck top under a black leather jacket added texture and depth to the line-up.
Evening evolved into billowing gowns layered over racer-back vests and velvet bodices, bucolic halter mini dresses rich in print, gauzy floral midi dresses, Damien Hirst-esque-dotted mini and maxi dresses, and bubble hem strapless babydoll dresses, all of which made way for a mesmerising ruffle story, from V-neck to one-shoulder and everything in between.
Less literal in overt lunar references (although the show soundtrack from Interstellar did set the scene), this was a collection of restoration and about seeing things with new perspective, to the moon, and beyond.