Le Progrès is a Parisian café in the Marais, at the intersection of streets teeming with life and activity in a neighborhood that has always been particularly lively. Having survived gentrification and waves of fashionable restylings to remain a meeting place that caters to humans of all walks of life, Le Progrès captures the spirit of the resignification of the Valentino codes in the vision of the Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli.
The idea that guides this constantly evolving path is to bring fashion on the street, out of the Atelier while retaining the know-how of the Atelier, to meet with the always unique, always different identity of the wearers. It is a way to root Valentino in the present time, in the belief that personal identity creates aesthetics, and not the other way round.
The collection supports this movement with a modular flow. It is in fact conceived as a series of pieces: timeless items, each one valid on its own, which everyone can then interpret and mix as they prefer, without impositions or rules of any kind. The shifting of codes in the way they can be used is already built in the design of the single garment, in the fluidity that merges the masculine and the feminine. Tailoring is reinterpreted in vivid and acrylic colors, in neat and precise lines.
Feathers multiply on short or long sparkling dresses, as well as on the hooded sweatshirt. Denim is mixed with lace or broderie anglaise used for short dresses and masculine shirts, or becomes a short cape for men. The tropes of bourgeois dressing – cardigan-jackets, pleated skirts, long tunic dresses, tunics over trousers, suits – meet a certain street-savviness: tracksuits given a sartorial touch, played up in the contrast of colors; cycling shorts worn with blazers.
Embroideries, no longer a symbol of nighttime preciousness, characterize the fluid coats, peacoats and anoraks. Dryness and romanticism coexist; platforms alternate with flat shoes. Studs multiply on handbags and sandals, as on the massive soles of men’s lace-ups, while the logo is exploded, miniaturized, explored as a graphic sign, an aggregational pattern, on dresses and bags.
The Valentino identity gets fragmented, merging with the DNA of the individual, creating always different permutations. Multiplicity becomes synonymous with unity and uniqueness. Re-signification and fragmentation coincide, activating evolution.