CALL ME BY YOUR DRESS: The spring 2019 couture season may be getting underway, but Pierpaolo Piccioli’s upcoming collection for Valentino, which he’ll show on Wednesday, isn’t the brand’s only haute news of the week. Piccioli and director Luca Guadagnino have collaborated on a short film, said to feature the designer’s couture designs, most likely the fall collection he showed in July. The project’s title couldn’t be confirmed, but the two creatives clearly view it as something more than brand imaging for Valentino; a source said Guadagnino plans to enter the work into a number of film festivals.
The director is sizzling hot after last year’s “Call Me by Your Name,” which received Oscar Best Picture and Best Actor nominations (Timothée Chalamet), and won for James Ivory’s screenplay. Yet artful film work for its own sake isn’t Guadagnino’s only interest; he understands the power of strong storytelling for both art and commerce. He codified his interest in fashion in 2012, founding the production company Frenesy Film specifically for taking on projects with major fashion brands. Guadagnino has worked with numerous names at luxury’s pinnacle, directing and or producing short films or commercials for, among others, Zegna, Ferragamo, Fendi, Sergio Rossi, Giorgio Armani, Cartier and Pomellato.
While Piccioli doesn’t have a parallel crossover c.v., he has plenty of red-carpet cred, dressing last season’s Best Actress winner, Frances McDormand. More significantly, he is one of fashion’s most compelling creators; a cinematic, sometimes otherworldly emotion wafts through his signature, dramatic volumes. While Piccioli has determined in recent seasons to infuse that romantic grandeur with an everyday attitude for ready-to-wear, when it comes to couture, he allows passion to trump pragmatism. The haute oeuvre, Piccioli said before his fall show, is “a place where you [can express] your vision of beauty, your intimate dreams.” He then delivered on that premise in a glorious reverie of vibrant color and audacious silhouette — the kind of clothes that could beautifully costume a modern fairy tale.