Valentino’s Roman Marvels

Expanding the meaning of couture, one ruffle and feather at a time.

ROME — The couture shows came to an end not in Paris but in Rome, with a river of gold ballroom chairs connecting the Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the Spanish Steps — the most famous people-watching and -posing staircase in Europe — to Piazza Mignanelli, where the Valentino headquarters stand.

Twenty-three years after he joined the brand in the handbag department, Pierpaolo Piccioli, now Valentino’s creative director, wanted to bring his collection home to where it began, to offer something of a treatise about history, humanity and what happens next. That it came in the form

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