With the artists Joel S. Allen, Anastasia Bay, Benni Bosetto, Katrin Bremermann, Guglielmo Castelli, Maurizio Cilli, Danilo Correale, Luca Coser, Jamie Nares, Francis Offman, Andrea Respino, Wu Rui, Sofia Silva, Alessandro Teoldi, Patricia Treib, Malte Zenses. And with the participation of Kerstin Brätsch.
Valentino Des Ateliers is a project deeply wanted by Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli, according to whom ‘Fashion is not ‘art’, because the latter has no purpose outside of itself, while the first always has a practical scope, a function, a use. Acknowledging differences is the first step in educating ourselves towards a mutual listening, made of curiosity, enthusiasm and respect. This listening needs time, just like Haute Couture and at the end of the day like art. That’s why, this project’s progress has been slow, a pace perhaps unusual for our actual world but right and intimate for the world I would like to live in.’
Guided by these values, Maison Valentino decided to entrust to the dialogue with artists the ‘invention site’ of this season’s Haute Couture Collection, which is traditionally the fashion sector closest to the values of uniqueness, singularity, research and experimentation that are so inherent to the art practice.
The idea is to draw inspiration from the work of a group of contemporary artists, chosen together with Gianluigi Ricuperati, in order to create the collection’s dresses. And to inspire them in return, asking them to “respond” with their own creativity to the extraordinary forge of knowledge and talent in craftsmanship, textiles, tailoring, colors that feeds Haute Couture.
But the process was not limited to this: the two sides, the artists’ Ateliers and Valentino’s, worked together to design and create some of the pieces, in a way of being and doing which is at once both singular and plural, individual and collective.
In fact, thanks to a series of live and remote encounters, the artists – mostly painters, since painting is to art as haute couture is to fashion, being both languages eternal and material, traditional and ever-renovating, real renewable sources of beauty – have nourished the vision of Pierpaolo Piccioli and Valentino.
It is therefore a translation between different languages, a complex and delicate passage between the two-dimensional nature of painting and the three-dimensional one of fashion.
Which, moreover, finds its ultimate and fundamental purpose in the dressing of the body – which is at the center of everything.
The name of the project, Valentino Des Ateliers, contains its salient features: the dynamism of conversation, the multiplicity of teamwork, always taking the side of talent.
The collection is presented at the Venice Biennale, in the absolute and natural space of the Gaggiandre, where Vuslat Foundation commissioned the installation of “Idee di pietra – Olmo”, 2008 (bronze, river stone, water); Curated by Chus Martinez, Special Event at the La Biennale di Architettura 2021, emerging from the lagoon observing the catwalk along which the clothes will be presented.
Vuslat Foundation wanted to identify in this work a reference to its main mission, supporting the principle of generous listening: listening to the planet, listening to each other, listening to ourselves. In the words of Pierpaolo Piccioli, ‘Venice was part of the vision I had from the very beginning: it was the only place in the world in which to present such a collection, a context where nothing can be added or subtracted: the light and power of Venice are the perfect setting in which I’d love to immerse my work.’
According to curator Gianluigi Ricuperati, ‘we must imagine Valentino Des Ateliers as a concert for two distinct worlds – painting and Haute Couture, contemporary art and clothing art – in which each side own voices listen to each other’s song before pronouncing themselves.’