Valentino have released their haute couture collection with a fashion film, Of Grace And Light, directed by Nick Knight, and edited and filmed by Britt Lloyd, which features a soundtrack by FKA Twigs. Celebrating imagination and how physical and digital realities co-exist, the fashion film features Pierpaolo Piccioli's A/W 20 couture dresses floating through the air, coloured and ornamented by projections of images of nature. The dresses are then unveiled in tableau, and revealed to be made all in white, suggesting new beginnings and the possibilities that fashion can bring about.
With coronavirus transmission precautions putting paid to holding traditional in-person couture shows, Valentino's fashion film is part of the wave of fashion houses creating digital experiences to introduce audiences to new season designs. 'Pierpaolo [Piccioli] sees this as a Renaissance for fashion,' said Nick Knight of the choice to explore digital presentations. 'Fashion designers are at the vanguard of creativity, and the catwalk show format has been the same for 50 years. Now they have been freed from old structures and ways of presenting their collections, it's a new way to work and they are excited by the creative possibilities of it.'
Indeed, Knight and fellow filmmaker Britt Lloyd directed the fashion film through Zoom over three days, working with a 'very talented Italian film crew.' As well as this new technological modus operandi from the filmmakers, Piccioli's couture collection features 'amazing dresses with totally new proportions, dresses that are 15 to 20 feet long.' To bring the gowns to life in mid-air, a team of professional aerialists on trapezes were also enlisted.
The film also includes a quote from the famed Italian film director and author Pier Paolo Pasolini on the importance of dreaming; together with the emotive soundtrack from FKA Twigs, and the show venue of Cinecittà Studios, the film nods to Italy's rich cinematic history and its position as a fount of cultural inspiration. FKA Twigs, of course, has shown her support for Valentino over the last few seasons, sitting front row at the A/W 19 haute couture show last year, and going on to perform at the brand's A/W 20 menswear show in January this year.