Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani once explained the source of his passion for fashion. “I love beauty, it’s not my fault.” It was precisely this affection for classic and harmonious shapes that shaped his trajectory as one of the great masters of haute couture and made him largely responsible for immortalizing the red dress. The Red Valentino, the name of the brilliant red tone created by him in 1959 inspired by the dramatic energy of the opera Carmen, by Georges Bizet, gave birth to costumes for wonderful women such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994), his greatest muse, Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) and Sophia Loren. Now, on completing 90 years, the Italian once again adds a shade of his own to the palette, Valentino Pink PP, developed in partnership with the Pantone Color Institute — a reference company for the colors used in the textile and graphic industries.
The color became a fever among lovers of the classic Valentino, which was expected, but it also served to awaken the fascination for the traditional Italian house among the younger ones. Actress Zendaya, 25, star of the series euphoria and from the movie Spider-Man: No Homecoming, the acclaimed muse of Generation Z, was one of the first to surrender to the tonality and was promptly transformed into an ambassador for the maison. The range of adhesions to Pink PP is immense: top model Gigi Hadid, actresses Kiernan Shipka, Gillian Anderson and Simone Ashley, singers Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande, singer Maluma and even pilot Lewis Hamilton, seen aboard a pink Valentino between one box and another on the Formula 1 circuit. The definitive celebration of the new color came at the Met Gala 2022, in New York, represented by the suit with cape displayed by actress Glenn Close, in the street style of the model worn by actor Sebastian Stan and in the romantic dress of Nicola Peltz Beckham, married to Brooklyn, photographer and son of former English football player David Beckham.
There is, of course, a marketing touch to the launch of the shade, a way of drawing attention to the brand. It’s part of the catwalk game, it’s a natural movement of the clothing industry, and it should be welcomed naturally. However, it is an innovation celebrated with enthusiasm, above all because it leaves the hands of an unavoidable icon. “Valentino was a revolutionary in the 1970s and remains a great reference”, says Brazilian stylist Reinaldo Lourenço. “For decades he has produced and managed to express the new and the beauty without losing the avant-garde tone and glamor that made him an example for everyone.”
In addition to celebrating the worldwide party around his flashy pink, as if shouting out loud, Valentino is light and happy because of the avalanche of tributes he has received. One of the most interesting is an installation open to the public at the Teatro Sociale di Voghera, his hometown, located in the Pavia region of northern Italy. Until June 5, the creations developed by him since 1960, including 36 dresses in the red tone of the beginning of his career, will be on display at the venue. The brand is also preparing the launch of a special sweatshirt that will feature the famous phrase of the Italian couturier about his love for beauty. Of course, the lyrics will be written in Pink PP, as the costumes dictate.
From now on, after all, the tone will be the mark of the renewal of the creativity of the precocious genius. He started in the art of threads and linens at the age of 15, when he arrived in Paris to study couture techniques at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture with names like Cristóbal Balenciaga, Jean Dèsses and Guy Laroche. He quickly built a road of his own, one of unparalleled aesthetic value and rare commercial power. Valentino is today considered the last living great master of fashion. “Live for 100 years”, exclaimed Jackie Kennedy to the stylist in 1966. The request seems to be being granted, dyed in new colors.
Published in VEJA of May 25, 2022, issue nº 2790