Partial view of the courtyard of the M7 “Forever Valentino” exhibition in Doha.
Image: Courtesy of Valentino
Fashion, despite all its future focus, is forever entangled with the past. Nowhere is this more evident than in Valentino, where Pierpaolo Piccioli is actively in dialogue with Valentino Garavani and the legacy created by the studio, who carry on a long-standing tradition of craftsmanship. Valentino is a Roman home, and no other city has a history more alive and colliding with the present. This back-and-forth is embodied in “Forever Valentino,” a comprehensive theatrical exhibition presented by the Qatar Museum and Maison Valentino, which opened this week at the M7 Design and Innovation Centre in Doha as part of a year-long Qatar Creation project . Also working with Piccioli are Massimiliano Gioni, Art Director Edlis Neeson of the New Museum, New York and Art Director of the first Venice Biennale, and journalists, writers and collectors who will be curators for the first time Alexander Fury.
Valentino Garavani’s studio with the Spanish Steps in Rome.
Photo: by Valentino
The curator’s coveted team no longer regards time as the organizing principle of the exhibition, Instead, focus on the location: Rome. “I think being a Roman fashion house is what makes Valentino so special and unique,” Piccioli said by phone. “Rome has been a huge influence on my work.” The Rome that evokes in the exhibition is not the Rome of postcards and stereotypes, but a real city inhabited by real people, especially Rome as Valentino’s hometown. Gioni said the creative director was clear he didn’t want to fall into “the trap of Rome’s prescriptive and kitsch views.” “I also think that what Piccioli brings to fashion, especially to Valentino, is Rome as a cosmopolitan city, a city that really lives, a place that has coexisted for centuries… a More multi-tonal cities, complex and beautiful in variety, than the Emperor’s narrative would have us believe.”
Pierre Paolo Piccioli and his Spanish Steps in Rome The studio, 1874.
Photo: By Provided by Valentino
Lord Byron once described Rome as “the city of souls” , perhaps this is the most succinct expression of Rome that Valentino Forever brings to Qatar. This view of the city is much like Piccioli’s own view of Valentino. His focus is on capturing the spirit of its heritage in emotional and inclusive design.
So the visitors start their “Forever Valentino” tour , as the brand’s employees start their day, into the courtyard of the headquarters (in this case a replica) Palazzo Mignanelli, where Igor Mitoraj’s oversized sculpture “Sorgente del Centurione” occupies the entire space. “What’s really interesting about this sculpture is that it kind of replicates this idea of turning fragments of the past into modern pieces,” explains Fury. “It’s an overview of the dresses designed by Garavani and Piccioli, so it initiates the idea of a dialogue between contemporary pieces and the past, energizes them, and encourages the visitor to make those connections between history and the present.” Required Note that the exhibitions, including this section, include both haute couture designs and ready-to-wear designs.