Pierpaolo Piccioli, the innovative director of Valentino, is familiar with a way to do callous things that rarely occur in tandem these days. First, he designs clothes with fashion cred that doesn’t make you seem like a fashion sufferer; 2nd, he constructs them in line with the impeccable standards of Old World Italian craftsmanship. However, they still look current, not like something that reeks of mothballs.
The end result is something special. Piccioli designs garments that dare you to put on them. Dare because, even though these are the types of essentials each guy must have in the closet—a well-cut suit, a sincere trench, some true ol’ khakis, a pair of black lace-united states that don’t look orthotic— Piccioli’s execution places them inside the realm of Michelin-famous person combinations, skydiving, the Ring Cycle, and Polar Bear Plunges. You might also need to gather the flavor, but you won’t remorse it. Sure, you may at the beginning surprise in case you are supposed to wear an embroidered camo jacket or a burgundy tracksuit patterned with white beads or a fit as crimson as Sophia Loren’s lipstick. But like different guys who have long gone before you—James Harden, Mark Ruffalo, and John Legend, to call some—what you’ll discover when you put Piccioli’s stuff on is that it doesn’t certainly make you look higher; you experience that way, too.
Last November, Piccioli selected a warehouse in the Shinagawa neighborhood of Tokyo to keep his pre-fall runway show, which, in non- fashion speak, the method a tight, among-seasons imparting that drops this spring. If the display become in part an homage to the things Piccioli loves approximately Japan—wabi-sabi, origami, manga subculture—the 2-day itinerary of the occasion bolstered that impression with visits to various museums, a dinner at the Tadao Ando–designed home of one of the united states’s excellent current-artwork collectors, and a celebration at Valentino’s Ginza shop. On the remaining morning of the ride, I met the dressmaker in a small conference room high atop the Park Hyatt motel—yeah, the one where Lost in Translation turned into the shot. As we talked, clouds drifted with the aid of, and it every so often felt like we were at an altitude in which we may want to see the curvature of the earth.
Jay Fielden: So, you’ve got kids. . . .
Pierpaolo Piccioli: Yeah, three. Two ladies and a boy—21, 19, and 12.
I even have three, too. We’re more or less the equal age, I suspect.
I think you’re younger.
The way the arena judges age now, we’re the same age—we’re no longer 20.
Unfortunately no longer.
Speaking of children, if style is about what’s occurring in the meanwhile, how do you still keep in contact with those matters?
It’s a huge question. I will say Valentino is a beautiful brand, but being beautiful these days isn’t enough. I think you need to be applicable for the instant, but cool is a tough phrase. If you strive tough to be cool, you may in no way be cool. My youngsters in no way communicate about coolness. You’re cool, or you’re no longer cool. You don’t ought to attempt.
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