Exclusive: Anna Dello Russo and Valentino Bring the Unboxing Collection to Dubai

Exclusive: Anna Dello Russo and Valentino Bring the Unboxing Collection to Dubai

Photo: Courtesy of Valentino
Taking inspiration from the concept of deconstruction, Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli has created a distinctive, one-of-a-kind collection for SS23 – Unboxing Valentino. As a part of nine interpretations relying on renowned stylists in cities across the globe, the maison is now bringing a unique experience to Dubai with a little help from none other than Anna Dello Russo.
Unboxing Valentino is a celebration of individuality and the limitlessness of creative impulses. The diversity of artistic expression that is so essential to fashion is brought to the forefront as each stylist interprets the collection in line with their own visual language. Despite their different approaches, what ties each leg of Unboxing Valentino together is the genderless approach to the collection, which is heavily adorned in Toile Iconograph, a visual attestation to the Valentino identity.
Photo: Courtesy of Valentino
In this unboxing of sartorial expressiveness, the city of choice is just as essential as the stylist. This complex organism relying on repeated patterns – much like the quintessential Valentino Toile Iconograph – becomes the perfect vessel for Unboxing Valentino and all that it hopes to represent. What emerges is an amalgamation of spirits between the maison, the stylist, and the city itself, as unique displays are erected across these nine interpretations – a fusion of styles and stories formed from time, place, and personality.
In Dubai, Valentino is assisted by the iconic Dello Russo, who is without a doubt one of the most influential women in fashion. The creative consultant has a long list of accolades to her name, from being considered one of the pioneers of street style to having a celebrated Vogue career in as fashion editor. Holding a mirror to the city, Anna Dello Russo draws upon the abundance of Dubai to construct her display with Valentino. The window invites passers-by into a world where fantasy reigns supreme – cool aquamarine and gold create the feel of a fish tank as feathers, sequin-clad dresses gloves, statement accessories paint the mannequins like tropical fish.
Photo: Courtesy of Valentino
The remaining physical manifestations of Unboxing Valentino find themselves through the creative expression of Law Roach in New York, Rebbeca Corbin-Murray’s floral-infusion in in London, and Clement Lomellini’s torn paper backdrop in Paris, along with Geum Nam in Seoul, Masataka Hattori in Tokyo, Lorenzo Posocco in Milan, and Mix We in Shanghai. The ninth window exists online, an offering to individuals around the world. Created by styling duo Grandquist, this digital display draws upon the intensity of red, the color that expresses Valentino’s purest essence.
Visitors at Valentino stores in multiple cities around the world can also enjoy in-store activations including styling sessions, while AI powered by GameOn Technology creates dynamic social interactions and a whole new way to discover the collection for those at home. In addition to this, the experience also features an aural dimension, with stylists curating playlists that are a reflection of their installations. Not only will this additional expression of individuality be streamed in select boutiques, it will also be available on the Maison Valentino Spotify page.
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5 Things To Know About Erdem’s Restoration-Inspired SS23 Collection

5 Things To Know About Erdem’s Restoration-Inspired SS23 Collection

London’s many shrines to art, culture and history became homes away from home for Erdem Moralıoğlu while working on his spring/summer 2023 collection, through which he explores the world of art restoration. Below, five things to know about the show.

Erdem immersed himself in the world of art restoration

Erdem and his studio team met with restoration experts and conservations at the British Museum, Tate Britain, the National Gallery and the V&A while working on the spring/summer 2023 collection, which draws on the painstaking work involved in protecting cultural property. “We looked broadly at painting, historic costume and sculpture,” explains the designer, who adds that the restoration experts he met can spend 20 years working on an individual piece. “It became apparent to me that the forensic dedication applied to their subjects walks the line between care and obsession – this collection explores that space. I loved the idea of becoming the material that you are restoring.”
The venue was particularly apposite

Where better to present a collection inspired by the preservation of items of cultural importance than the British Museum? “To have the collection come alive amongst the colonnades of the museum feels so fitting,” says Erdem, who spent days in the conservation department at the landmark building. “I spent so long studying behind the scenes and working with the conservators.”
Erdem became obsessed with the obsessive nature of restoration

“I was thinking about obsession and the boundless pursuit of preservation,” he says of his approach to the collection. A series of photographs taken behind the scenes in the costume department at the V&A became a particularly rich source of inspiration. “Looking at the team restoring an 18th-century gown, I became obsessed with the complex under-structures built in order to save the garment,” he says. “There was something so interesting about the scientific, almost forensic intervention.”
The detail is forensic, but the mood is undone

The “knowledge, skill and obsession” that goes into restoring individual pieces of cultural importance informed the truly special gowns in the show’s finale, which were created using fragments of different fabrics. “The finale gowns are so important to me,” Erdem says. “They were really inspired by the tulle under-structures that we saw at the V&A… the idea of creating something in order to restore and save something else,” he adds. “To me there was something so interesting in the idea of the fragments, it was fascinating to cut up different garments and morph them together. There is a sense of the undone in this collection.”
It’s a season of solidarity in London

5 Things To Know About Carolina Herrera’s High-Romance SS23 Show

5 Things To Know About Carolina Herrera’s High-Romance SS23 Show

For his spring/summer 2023 collection, Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon turned to his favorite childhood novel, The Secret Garden, for inspiration. Here, fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen breaks down the romantic details of note from the show.

The collection was based on a book

In the press notes for his Carolina Herrera show, Wes Gordon wrote: “And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” The quote was from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, the designer’s favourite book growing up. Knowing Gordon’s love for romance, you could see why. He credited its whimsical depiction of nature as the inspiration for his spring/summer 2023 show.
The show took place in the Plaza Hotel

As the Upper East Side nature of the Carolina Herrera brand prescribes, Gordon chose the sacred halls of the Plaza Hotel as his venue. Herrera – who was on the front row – staged a show there herself in 1984, and true to Gordon’s approach to the legacy he’s been entrusted with, this collection was an exercise in looking to the future while remembering the past: giving the classic codes of Herrera a contemporary resonance.
It was effortless glamour

Granted, effortless glamour is essentially Herrera’s tagline, but it’s easier said than done. Demonstrating his skill for purified drama, Gordon opened the show with a voluminous striped blouse styled with a floral ball skirt, and not much else but a big pair of earrings. The minimal approach to grandeur continued in wrapped mini dresses that burst out in majestic trains at the back, and clean-cut gowns presented with naked necklines and wrists – all, of course, adorned in Gordon’s romantic flowers.
It wasn’t all ballgowns

In Gordon’s garden of pretty floral prints and volumes, a cinched suit emerged in all-black. It paved the way for tailored silhouettes like a little tweedy shorts suit and a little black jacket neatly sheathed in translucent fabric, as well as a black bustier styled with tapered black trousers, adding a certain realness to the ballroom glamour that underlined the brand’s appeal to a modern audience.
Gordon exercised his ateliers

5 Things To Know About Halpern’s Optimistic SS23 Show And Barbie Collab

5 Things To Know About Halpern’s Optimistic SS23 Show And Barbie Collab

From London’s key workers to the stars of the Royal Opera House’s ballet company, Michael Halpern’s muses are always eclectic. The London-based New Yorker’s latest leading light? Barbie. “I always played with them growing up, but I was more interested in their incredible hair than their clothes,” laughs the designer of the collaborative component to his spring/summer 2023 collection, which brought some ostentatious, optimistic oomph not only to a sombre city, but to Mattel’s Dreamhouse.

The opening look honored the Queen

A couple of years ago, Halpern was lucky enough to speak with Queen Elizabeth II, as part of an audience with London’s most exciting design talent. Halpern divulged his love of ostentation to Her Majesty – an aesthetic evocatively conveyed in the opening commemorative look of his spring/summer 2023 show. The first exit, presented in total silence, featured a breathtaking, floor-trailing cape in cornflower silk taffeta, paired with a mint headscarf. “It was our way of respectfully paying tribute,” Halpern explained.
Home comforts just got glamorous

Halpern is soon to gain his British citizenship and permanent residency in the UK, and he found the process of opening the final box of his belongings shipped to London particularly poignant. Inside, he discovered old photographs of his mother sporting outré house gowns, more suited to chic soirées than slouching on the sofa. A hooded gown in sumptuous leopard print velvet was inspired particularly by a kaftan Halpern’s mother owned, which to his horror, she did not hold on to. “Hosting at home is the most glam thing,” he said. “Growing up I felt completely safe to be creative in my house. There was no restriction.”
Halpern is embracing escapism

The designer has never been one for restriction. “When I see ruffles and texture, it brings me complete joy,” Halpern said with a smile. In idiosyncratic fashion, his spring/summer 2023 collection embraced escapist volumes and unabashed ostentation, from bustiers in pastel “jellyfish” flounces to gowns exploding with cloud-like sleeves, disco flares in hand-painted flocked tulle and minidresses in kaleidoscopic chevron sequins. A series of looks, imagined in blue velvet and embroidered with a sparkling nighttime sky, recalled the neon stars Halpern stuck to his bedroom walls as a child. “They’re about building these worlds, checking out and going to another planet,” he explained. “Fashion being harnessed to create fantasy.”
Accessories went XL

The collection featured super-sized accessories, like huge hoop earrings and “tacky gold” headbands dangling with Hellenic metal leaves. Like other embellishments in the collection – including huge bows swathed in crystals – they were dramatically scaled up. “Doll proportion is a thing!” Halpern laughed.

Barbie took to the catwalk

The Barbie Dreamhouse celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and its doll residents were keen to celebrate. Barbie has partnered with a host of fashion labels, including Comme des Garçons, Versace and Moschino, and as part of Halpern’s collaboration, a section of his show was inspired by the doll’s decade-spanning archival looks. Think ’80s power gowns and Barbie’s first swimsuit, which debuted in black and white stripes in 1959. Halpern first worked with Mattel in 2019, when he dressed a Barbie Role Model doll made in the likeness of Adwoa Aboah in a sequined minidress and turban. A cascading asymmetric gown in glittering orange polka dots will also be scaled down for the Dreamhouse’s most extravagant occupants.
Originally published in
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5 Things To Know About Coach’s Spring/Summer 2023 Urban Beach Show

5 Things To Know About Coach’s Spring/Summer 2023 Urban Beach Show

Photo: Getty
Coach’s creative director Stuart Vevers staged his spring/summer 2023 show for Coach on a pier in Park Avenue Armory in New York. “It’s the idea that a group of friends have left the club at sunrise, and they’re like, ‘Let’s go to Coney Island!’” he said of his showcase, which featured pieces to take the wearer from city to beach.

The show imagined a giant boardwalk
Photo: Getty

In the Armory on Park Avenue, Coach had erected a massive pier. As the show began, it lit up warmly like an early sunrise as models meandered around the boardwalk hand-in-hand like couples and in groups of friends. “We had a conversation about what young people in New York do in the summer,” Stuart Vevers explained in a preview. “It’s the idea that a group of friends have left the club at sunrise, and they’re like, ‘Let’s go to Coney Island!’ They jump on the subway and adapt their wardrobe to going to the beach. I did it myself back in the day. But the more ‘city’ version of that is the west side, on the piers. You can almost get a sense of the beach or the seaside.”
It was a city-to-beach collection
Photo: Getty

“There’s something interesting about the place where the city meets the beach: Coney Island, Rockaway Beach, or Jones Beach where people usually go for the day. It’s not this full beach experience where you go with hats and bikinis. It’s a bit more random. The idea of that wardrobe inspired my starting point,” Vevers said. “It brought references that we’ve not really played with before. We’re usually in the city or on the prairie. We’ve never been by the sea. It gave us some very obvious reference points for materials and styling: shells and jellies and Aran sweaters; things that are very beachy and summery. But it’s not what you’d typically expect as beachwear.”
The clothes were “love-worn”
Photo: Getty

Vevers’s city-to-beach motif shaped a collection founded in a kind of adaptability and resourcefulness that removed it from beachy clichés and brought it back to Coach’s somewhat grittier territory. Super-relaxed tailored leather outerwear defined the show, styled with shorts so short you could barely see them. Oversized Aran knits played to the same silhouette, patched up and pieced together as they’d existed for a hundred years. “They’re pieces that feel as if they could have had another life: an exploration of burnishing, patina… There’s almost nothing that doesn’t have a treatment or isn’t made of pre-worn materials,” Vevers said, explaining how important it is for him to experiment with sustainable techniques and circularity.
Lil Nas X closed the show
Photo: Getty

As the show’s closing look, Lil Nas X hit the boardwalk to mark his new gig as Coach’s global ambassador. Done up in the braids that defined the show’s hair styling, it took a while for the audience to recognize the star. But eventually, you could see iPhones being raised in synchronized movement before Vevers came out to take his bow with the artist. As part of the Coach cast – which, it has to be said, is always on point – you could see why Vevers had chosen Lil Nas X as his new poster boy: a fitting representative of the fluid, progressive youth this brand is aimed at.
Stuart Vevers once met the Queen

As an Englishman abroad, it felt only appropriate to ask Vevers to share his thoughts on the death of Queen Elizabeth II. “I’ve actually met the Queen,” he beamed. “She opened a new wing of the University of Westminster while I was there, and we put on a fashion show for her. I had a piece in the show and I got to shake her hand,” he said. “She’s someone who’s been such a constant in so many of our lives; so stable and respected. Maybe because we’ve grown up with her, whether it’s on the news or watching The Crown, we know so much about the different stages of her life. We feel such a strong connection.”
Originally published in
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