Valentino goes back to black with Le Noir fashion show, showcasing the versatility a monochromatic collection can be.

Maison Valentino Creative Director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, has always considered color a powerful channel of immediate and direct communication – one consistently utilized as a means of recalibrating perception, reappraising form and function. For the Valentino Le Noir Fall/Winter 2024-25 collection, Pierpaolo Piccioli reconsiders Valentino through the lens of black – here representative not of an absence of color, nor an exercise in monochrome or monotone, but rather the discovery of an entire spectrum of shades, infinitely nuanced, within one.

As a color, black has always held within itself a multitude of definitions and meanings, ever-transforming, perceived by all. The blacks of Mark Rothko, the reflective blacks of Pierre Soulages, the sculptural black forms of Constantin Brâncuși – they express the breadth of syntax, the language of black. Representative of universality and individuality, of uniform and idiosyncrasies, black physically functions like no other color, absorbing light. Its depths are explored, a lexicon of black presented. Likewise, philosophically, it absorbs our projected cultural definitions and ramifications, memories and meanings. Here, black can become a color not of sobriety but of exuberance, a shade that offers a rebellion to romance, a sharp graphicism to flou.

A color of the everyday, here black is amplified, used to recontextualize the signs and signifiers of Valentino – rosettes, ruffles, embroideries, lace. A reimagining of the codification of Valentino, volants and plissé abstract into chiaroscuro, while its tailoring language is translated into dresses, fragility afforded a strength. Patterns, embroideries, fabrics, give different lives to black – the technique named by Valentino Altorilievo (High Relief) is executed in tulle, falling like shadows across the body. Shapes are given sculptural quality in intense velvets and crêpe, while transparencies of chiffon veil the skin. Within a universe of black, gestures drawn from the past can become new, observed from a fresh viewpoint, given a different identity. The archetypical silhouettes of Valentino, glamorous lines and definite shoulders unmistakably drawn from the 1980s, are re-examined without nostalgia, sharpened to delineate bodies of today. A contraposition in black, between lightness and toughness, then and now.

Black can challenge and explode stereotypes – as Baudelaire intimates, black holds within itself its own democracy. Day and evening blur together, precious silhouettes and embellishments are given new reality, relatability. As you can say ‘Rosso Valentino’, we may say ‘Noir Valentino’.