A#20

Seeing Red with Valentino

Words by Albert Shyong

Valentino Rosso (2022)

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019),
Photography by Charles Traub.

The colour of love, passion, rage, danger and seduction, red evokes a visceral reaction wherever it is present. The cultural significance of this primary colour runs deep through human history, from prehistoric Neanderthal cave paintings to 20th century social movements. The employment of red in the context of fashion is prolific, yet its association often falls to a single couture house – Valentino.

Acknowledging this fact, the new book Rosso Valentino is an archival monograph of the Maison’s renowned application of the colour red, inscribing the illustrious creations of Valentino Garavani and subsequent creative directors throughout the past 50 years. Published by Assouline, the document is a continuation of the tradition of printed matter put forward by Valentino, as witnessed through its erudite text-based advertisement and release of the Haute Couture books. Beyond the colour red, Rosso Valentino captures both the distinct aesthetic identity established by Valentino Garavani since 1960, as well as its evolution into the new millennium with Pierpaolo Piccioli at the helm. With the latter creative director’s conception of Valentino Pink PP in the Autumn Winter 2022 season, Rosso Valentino serves as a guide into the legendary past of the house of Valentino. The book is written by Charlie Porter, who is also a contributor in A Magazine Curated By Erdem.

Valentino Rosso (2022)

Valentino Rosso (2022)

Unsurprisingly, the colour red is omnipresent in A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli. The bold primary colour is immediately featured on the cover, in a band across the page referencing the red strings that seal the Italian designer’s cahiers des défilés, or moodbooks from each collection. For A#20, Siena-based American photographer Joel Meyerowitz documented these artefacts, containing imagery of 17th century still life and portraits of Hollywood actresses among other inspirations complemented by mementos from each show, along with the cover of the issue — both bound by the red bands running down the vertical edge.

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

Further demonstrating the association between red and Valentino within the pages of A#20, Piccioli invited four fellow designers to construct garments – or a teddy bear – using studs and red silk. Clare Waight Keller, Craig Green, Marc Jacobs and A#5 curator Jun Takahashi participated in this exercise, each transforming the trademark Valentino red through their own creative praxis. Passed down from Garavani to Piccioli and beyond, the colour red is a testament to both the reverence of history and visionary interpretation of Valentino codes imbued by each designer.

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

A Magazine Curated By Pierpaolo Piccioli (2019)

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Cover of Article "A MAGAZINE CURATED BY ERDEM"

A MAGAZINE CURATED BY ERDEM

Issue No.24 is a cross-cultural, time-travelling exploration of the British-Turkish designer Erdem Moralioglu’s diverse range of sociological and aesthetic references that centres upon the disruptive figures of crucial periods in our collective history.

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