“We wanted to balance the frescoes and traditional art of Florence with something modern,” said Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of the setting for the house’s hotly anticipated men’s wear catwalk debut here on Wednesday night, as guests of honor at Pitti Uomo. The show was staged in the transporting Baroque rooms of the city’s 16th-century Palazzo Corsini.

Providing a jolt back into the modern world, giant floor-to-ceiling screens were installed in the site for the occasion, flashing crackly black-and-white footage of the models moving through the sections.

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