ITALIAN ACCENT: Tanja Ruhnke has joined Valentino as vice president of communications, North America. Responsible for public relations, events, advertising and VIP relations for the Roman fashion house, she reports to Sebastian Suhl, managing director of global markets and interim chief executive officer of Valentino USA.
Ruhnke is perhaps best known for her role as vice president of global branding and communications at Alexander Wang, and as a vice president of public relations at KCD in Paris. Most recently, she was vice president of communications at North6, a production agency.
She has also worked in-house at Rag & Bone and Helmut Lang in New York, and provided communication consulting services for the likes of Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Birkenstock.
EAST MEETS WEST: Valentino looked to Asia to find its new North American leader.
Gianfranco Ditadi, regional manager of Tod’s business in China, is to join Valentino North America as president and chief executive officer at the end of February, according to market sources.
Ditadi has also held senior management roles with Ralph Lauren and Prada Group in Asia.
He is to fill a role that’s been vacant since September, when Sandra Jovicic exited the Valentino company.
Valentino is controlled by Mayhoola, an investment vehicle backed by a private investor group from Qatar, which took control of the company in 2012. The brand is designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli and is helmed by ceo Stefano Sassi. In November 2017, former Marc Jacobs International ceo Sebastian Suhl joined Valentino as managing director of global markets to help the brand’s expansion globally.
TOKYO — A day after unveiling a new retail concept at its Ginza flagship store, Valentino staged its first runway show in Japan since the Eighties, with creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli also showing women’s wear and men’s wear together for the first time.
“In Japan and in the world today, I don’t think you feel such a difference between genders,” the designer said. “It’s a different way of working, but the philosophy behind men and women I think is the same. So the clothes are different, a different wardrobe, but the values are the same.”
Piccioli drew on classic couture detailing for women and tailoring for men, but reimagined them in a more modern way that is more appropriate for every day.
“I didn’t want to do streetwear or daywear generically,” he said. “I wanted to get the identity of the house, but going into the street.”
The result was a pre-fall collection that struck a perfect balance between red-carpet drama and practicality. Many of the most iconic codes of Valentino could be found yet refreshed. Flowers, such as those that adorned the dress Marisa Berenson was photographed in for Vogue in 1968, showed up as tiny buds adorning a knit dress with rows
IN AND OUT: Former Stuart Weitzman creative director Giovanni Morelli has joined Valentino as accessories design director, WWD has learned. He reports to creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. Morelli, who left the Tapestry Inc.-owned brand in May after one year, is a former leather goods designer for Loewe, Marc Jacobs and Chloé.
Morelli’s exit followed allegations of sexual harassment filed by Stuart Weitzman’s vice president Thomas Gibb, but Tapestry itself has since taken action against Gibb, terminating him and filing its own lawsuit against the executive, alleging breach of contract, duty of loyalty and diversion of corporate opportunities.
At the same time, Valentino’s chief marketing officer Isabelle Harvie-Watt has exited the company after only six months. This was a new role at the company and it is understood it is now vacant.
Born and raised in London, Harvie-Watt has been working in Italy for more than 25 years. Before Valentino, she was a managing partner and chief executive officer of the Spring Group — Spring Studios and Spring Place — in Milan, tasked with expanding and managing the group’s footprint in Italy. Prior to this, Harvie-Watt spent five years as ceo and country manager of Havas Media Group in Italy. While at Havas, she also founded and launched Luxhub, a global strategic consulting division
GOSSIP, GIRL: Kate Hudson deflected rumors that she is engaged to boyfriend Danny Fujikawa at the Valentino haute couture show Wednesday evening, where she sat front row alongside guests including Shailene Woodley, Donatella Versace, Clotilde Courau and Lake Bell.
“If there’s ever anything to talk about, I’m an honest person, I’ll talk about it,” said Hudson. “I’ll be happy to talk about it, but all that’s just nonsense.” Gossip has been circulating online after the actress appeared to be sporting a gem on her ring finger when out and about last weekend.
Otherwise, Hudson is keeping busy with her ath-leisure brand Fabletics, and is working toward a new movie role for the fall, she said, declining to reveal further details.
Woodley, who wore a striking leopard-print dress for the occasion, is prepping for the hotly awaited second season of hit series “Big Little Lies.” Any spoilers? “I wish I knew, I haven’t really read enough scripts to be able to express,” she said. “But I do know that we have an exciting new character, played by an amazing actor,” she accentuated.
She also stars in “Adrift,” an upcoming survival movie by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur. “It’s about a woman who is lost at sea,
“Authentic rebellion has a grace. It does not scream, it is a state of mind,” read the Valentino show notes.
For the past few seasons, Pierpaolo Piccioli has been exploring his vision of masculinity, one that casts off gender stereotypes to focus on individual expression. After cycling through punk and streetwear, his journey led him to post-punk performers such as Adam Ant, The Cure and Visage.
In line with his ethos of quiet rebellion, the New Romantic influences were subtle — a smudge of eyeliner here, a silver spike stud there. The latter sprouted up on the sleeves of a slim navy double cashmere coat, or a lightweight black parka. A leather jacket would have been too formulaic, Piccioli argued.
“It’s about the personal gesture,” he said backstage. Behind him, a series of mood boards displayed images including a portrait by Italian Renaissance painter Lorenzo Lotto, dreamlike photographs by Duane Michals, and Keith Richards cavorting topless through a Belle Epoque mansion.
“It’s about the freedom for men to be exactly who you are. I think this is a moment when men are thinking about themselves. After centuries of rules, men maybe in these [last] three decades are trying to express themselves,” Piccioli added, by
A fashion editor exiting the Valentino show needed a moment; rapture recovery takes time. When she got enough of a grip to regain verbal capacity, she offered, “I want to live on that planet.” The vibe in the courtyard of the Lycée Carnot, where Pierpaolo Piccioli presented his spring collection, suggested she wouldn’t be lonely.
For years now, Piccioli has produced some of fashion’s most extraordinary work, first in partnership with Maria Grazia Chiuri and now, on his own. Piccioli’s spring collection was out-of-this world magnificent.
At the risk of prolonging the planetary motif, the editor’s reference was more salient than she realized; featured on Piccioli’s mood board this season, along with pictures of the glamorous teenaged Brooke Shields and depictions of “The Frenzy of Orlando,” was a photograph taken by astronaut William Alison Anders during the Apollo 8 mission, the first to reach and orbit the moon. (OK, you Galileos out there, the moon’s not a planet. But it is up there — fashion license.)
During a preview, Piccioli talked about the moon as a physical place, but also “where you can find what’s lost in the heart, this romantic idea of the moon, the moon as a second chance.” Schmaltz? Maybe. But what’s “schmaltz”
VALENTINO’S SPECIES: Valentino has partnered with Mytheresa.com to pre-launch a selection of the brand’s fall collection on July 26, one week prior to the official release of the lineup. The e-tailer and the Rome-based brand have created a dedicated music video featuring English artist Eliot Sumner’s original song “Species.” Sumner is the daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler. Customers will be able to purchase the collection via the shoppable film, which was directed by Joanna Nordahl, a Swedish film director based between Stockholm and London. In February, Nordhal received a double Swedish Grammy nomination for Music Video of the Year 2016 and was awarded the grand prize for writing and directing the short film “Nothing but a Heartbeat.”
The video features an eclectic group of models including Mouna Fadiga, originally from Mali and Senegal; dancer and model Anna Engerström from Sweden; illustrator Jiahe Zhang, who grew up in the north of China and whose art will be exhibited at the Victoria in Dalston in August for the first time; dancer Gianna Gi from Brisbane, Australia, who is the creator of the JILTD Collective made up of artists and thinkers dedicated to pushing dance within the arts, and the artist behind the music
WEDDING CHOICE: Beatrice Borromeo opted for a pale pink Valentino gown to marry her longtime beau Pierre Casiraghi on Saturday at the Prince’s Palace in Monaco. The long pink-and-gold lace silk chiffon Valentino Haute Couture cape dress, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, was an adaptation of a look from the spring 2015 collection and was created specifically for the civil ceremony.
Casiraghi is the son of the late Italian entrepreneur Stefano Casiraghi and Princess Caroline of Hanover, daughter of the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. Borromeo, a former model and a journalist, is the daughter of Carlo Ferdinando Borromeo and Paola Marzotto.
Fiat chairman John Elkann and his wife Lavinia Borromeo, sister of the bride, were among the guests, as well as the bride’s grandmother Marta Marzotto. Beatrice’s other sisters, Matilde and Isabella, attended with their respective husbands, Antonio von Furstenberg and Ugo Brachetti Peretti. Casiraghi’s siblings, Charlotte and Andrea, were also present, together with their respective partner and spouse, Gad Elmaleh and Tatiana Santo Domingo.
According to reports, a religious ceremony is expected to take place Aug. 1 in Italy, on the Lake Maggiore, on one of the islands owned by the Borromeo family.
What do you wear down the aisle if you’re an Italian aristocrat marrying the gentleman who’s seventh in line to the throne of Monaco? Haute couture, of course. Beatrice Borromeo picked a one-of-a-kind wedding dress…
Valentino, one of fashion’s hottest houses — now shepherded by designers Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri — last week mounted another couture extravaganza in Rome. The storied label was established in The Eternal City in 1962 by Valentino Garavani, whose roots in WWD go back a half-century. In a 1965 interview, he declared “Mickey Mouse . . . my favorite reading material,” and said “Women of today have a duty to be soignée. They should be well made-up and absolutely wear lipstick — I detest women without lipstick.” And, in a prescient moment, he added that what “really makes a woman elegant are the accessories . . . many and expensive.”
HILTON GETS HITCHED: Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, have designed an haute couture gown worn by Nicky Hilton for her wedding to James Rothschild on Friday in London. The dress, made of three different shades of ivory and silver guipure was accented with crystal embellishments and features a balloon skirt with a three meter train. Her long veil was adorned at the edges with a vintage lace. Held at the Kensington Palace’s Orangery, a restaurant at the royal residence to the Cambridge family, white marquees were set up for the reception for the hotelier heiress and the banking heir. Among the attendees included Hilton’s sister Paris who wrote on Instagram: “So happy that my sister found the man of her dreams. They make the perfect couple! So excited for their wedding today!” This is the second marriage for Hilton, who was married to financier Todd Meister in Las Vegas — a union that lasted for three months. The couple held a pre-wedding party at Spencer House in St. James last night with guests including Chelsea Clinton and Naomi Campbell.
“It’s kind of a new Renaissance.”
Pierpaolo Piccioli was speaking of Italy today, but he could have made the same observation about the house of Valentino itself. He and his co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri have thrust Valentino into a renaissance of its own, making it one of the hottest, most watched brands in all of fashion. They’ve done so with an against-the-grain aesthetic that unapologetically mines old-world beauty and laces it with antithetical elements to rich, disarming effect. The couture collection they showed in Rome’s Piazza Mignanelli, home to the Valentino headquarters and new store, brought new depth to their range and reputation. It was exquisite.
The designers wanted to share with guests their vision of their beloved native city, which they find endlessly inspirational. “Everything is getting so global, it’s very important sometimes to be very local to talk about your identity,” Piccioli said.
Local but never parochial. There’s worldliness to the Valentino aesthetic, not easy to achieve, particularly given the romance factor. “Rome is the place where we bring a lot of inspiration,” Chiuri said, adding that even if you’re Roman, “you can open a door or you can go inside in a corner and find something you’ve never made
WHEN IN ROME: Ahead of its couture show in Rome later this week, Valentino is unveiling a capsule collection for men and women inspired by the Eternal City. All in black and with an eagle drawing as its defining motif, the range spans ready-to-wear and accessories and is to be sold exclusively from July 7 at the new Rome flagship store in Piazza di Spagna.
According to creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, the project allows them to “depict through our eyes the beauties of the city of Rome, constant source of inspiration for us. We love its beauty, its contrasts, its multiple facets, its ability to change in time and to project itself in the future.”
FRIDA’S CHOICE: Frida Giannini went long, sheer and romantic for the wedding dress that Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli created for her marriage to Patrizio di Marco in Rome Friday. Valentino posted a sketch of the dress on its Instagram account on Saturday. Chiuri and Piccoli are also said to have designed the dress for their daughter Greta. No word on what designer di Marco wore — or where the couple was headed on their honeymoon.
It has been a multicultural week on the gala circuit: Monday at the Met, all eyes were on China’s enduring influence on fashion; last night at New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala, the spotlight was on Denmark, birthplace of the great nineteenth-century choreographer, August Bournonville. Known for his effervescent footwork and repertory rich in pantomime, Bournonville might seem a world away from the modernist compositions by George Balanchine, the visionary founder of NYCB. In the spirit of spring renewal, the evening’s anticipated premiere was a revival of the Dane’s 1836 story ballet, La Sylphide, and a crowd including Valentino Garavani, Elettra Wiedemann, Patti Smith, and Ansel Elgort arrived to take it all in.
“I have a soft spot for Romantic ballets,” confessed Indre Rockefeller in daffodil yellow Delpozo, looking every bit the former dancer she is. Justin Peck, the company’s wunderkind resident choreographer and a soloist, paused to underscore the importance of the classics. “I actually haven’t seen any of the rehearsals for the piece, so I’m excited to just sit back and be a spectator,” he said. Wiedemann glided by in blush pink Lanvin, and on her feet? “Lanvin—not pointe shoes, thankfully,” she said with a laugh, showing off a sparkly sandal with a sensible heel. Growing up, her mother, Isabella Rossellini, used to take her to the ballet every year; Olivia Palermo, who seemingly walked out of Botticelli’s Primavera in a botanical Valentino dress, also has a balletomane in the family. “My mother just came last night! She has season tickets.”
Moments later inside the David H. Koch Theater, the curtain rose to reveal the first piece on the program, Bournonville Divertissements, a tasting menu of buoyant, jump-heavy excerpts by the choreographer. After a brief intermission on the terrace with champagne and a waning sunset, it was time for La Sylphide, staged by the company’s Danish-born ballet master in chief, Peter Martins. Set in Scotland, the story centers on a tartan-clad cad (a triumphant Joaquin De Luz) who jilts his betrothed for a winged sylph (Sterling Hyltin); she arrives by window and departs (to chuckles from the audience) by chimney. Their love affair ends in tragedy when he wraps a scarf—secretly cursed by a witch—around his paramour, causing her to perish, her delicate wings fluttering to the ground.
Heavy stuff for a spring night, but the mood was light at the post-show dinner on the promenade. The ethereal Wendy Whelan, who retired last fall from the company and appears at the Joyce Theater later this month, gushed about Hyltin’s performance, adding, “It’s my birthday—48!” Andrew Rannells, in the midst of filming the fifth season of Girls, chatted with Tiler Peck, a City Ballet principal whose husband, Robert Fairchild, stars in Broadway’s An American in Paris. “He plays the role that Gene Kelly did in the film,” Garavani explained. “I’m going to see it next week!” And with that, like a corps of winged sylphs, the guests dispersed into the night.
Meanwhile, on the West Coast, a very rainy Hollywood evening set the stage for the premiere of Mad Max: Fury Road. As action-packed as the movie was, it didn’t outshine the equally exciting red carpet. Hollywood veteran and star Charlize Theron shed her movie look and opted for a clean black and white dress, while newcomer costar Zoë Kravitz looked elegant in a Valentino gown, paired well with her signature braids. The biggest surprise of the night was when original Mad Max star, Mel Gibson, came out to show his support for the newest chapter of the legacy. As guests filed into the theater, Riley Keough in a leather dress, stopped for a few selfies with fans, then joined Abbey Lee, in a Balmain jumpsuit, inside.
As the credits rolled, the night was just beginning. Guests ventured across the street for the after-party, where in one corner, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley stunned in a sparkling Rodarte skirt and top. Across the room, costar Nicholas Hoult was seen laughing and talking amongst friends. Mad Max’s star-studded cast definitely failed to disappoint, both on the screen and on the carpet.
The post Valentino, Patti Smith, and More Celebrate New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala and Mel Gibson, Charlize Theron, and Other Stars Come Out for the Mad Max: Fury Road Premiere appeared first on Vogue.
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