Paris Fashion Week finally feels like it’s starting to wind down, with just one day of shows left on the calendar. Valentino is always a highlight of the week—not just because it’s one of the biggest presentations, but because of all the high-wattage celeb power it brings to Paris; and the crowd outside Valentino’s venues seems to get bigger and bigger each season. The spring 2023 collection debuted in the Carreau du Temple, as fans screamed out for Zendaya in the streets. Here’s everything else you need to know about Valentino spring 2023.
The Collection Was Strikingly Devoid of Color
The past few seasons of both ready-to-wear and couture have been all about color for Valentino, from the near-neon pink hue to the bold and bright colors showcased at the label’s most recent couture show. Here, the focus shifted to neutrals. The last 16 looks that closed the show all came in black and were, for the most part, well-crafted and classic—but somewhat repetitive and uninspiring after seeing the multitudes of ways designers have been interpreting the color black for spring 2023. Sleeveless column dresses with cutouts here and there will undoubtedly always have a place in everyone’s wardrobe, but after seeing how well creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli masters color, it felt like a stark and unusual departure.
Shades of tan, beige, brown and silver-y gray also dominated the collection. Hints of that classic Valentino red came through in the form of pleated dresses and chunky sequined skirts. There were also a scant handful of looks rendered in regal lemon-yellow, orchid purple, and Kelly green.
The (New) Logo Made a Fierce Comeback
The first model who walked down the runway stepped out in a logo look from literal head-to-toe—sporting a cape, full body stocking, shoes, and even a face covered in the V-logo. Draped shirt dresses, oversized floor-length trench coats, shorts, full skirts, and baggy tops all came decked out in the print—which didn’t particularly stand out among a sea of logo prints from the past few seasons, but is guaranteed to be everywhere if Valentino pink is any indication.
The Theme Was “Unboxing”
Valentino titled its spring 2023 collection “Unboxing,” and it was apparent that the show was rooted in winding down all the high impact color and embellishment—returning to earth with bare-bones basics that almost anyone could wear in an everyday setting. It’s true that much of the clothing didn’t particularly stand out or wow in a way that Piccioli’s did in past seasons, but that was kind of the point. “Pureness as a conscious synthesis, the intentional removal of what exceeds,” the show notes read. ‘It is subtraction, not absence. The creative process keeps track of what was taken away. It leads to the essential, with all the tension of implication. Those empty spaces are not lack of content. They declare personal choices.”
“In those omissions, in those allusions, lays the depth of identity,” the show notes continued. “Cuts and transparencies reveal the persona.” With 91 total looks in the collection, and much of it in black and beige silhouettes that looked somewhat the same, it read like the opposite–less about personality and more about commericality and uniformness, especially since there was such an unfortunate lack of body diversity too, not long after the brand made its powerful statement by casting various sizes, ages and gender just earlier this year for its spring 2022 couture show.
For Spring, a Stacked Front Row
Erykah Badu sat front row wearing a head-to-toe Valentino hot-pink look with feathers and a dramatic hat done in her signature style. Zendaya was also in the front row wearing sparkly logo pieces, next to Naomi Campbell and her stylist and Image Architect Law Roach. Florence Pugh attended, too.