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28 September 2020: The historic Macchi Foundry was the industrial backdrop for Valentino’s romantic SS21 presentation this weekend in Milan, as plants dripped from the building’s rafters and islands of greenery sprouted from its concrete floors.

Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli opted for a whimsical but simple set for his first Milan show, using the scale of the foundry’s cavernous factory floor – constructed in 1936 – to incite wonder.

Stylist and Green Fingers store founder Satoshi Kawamoto’s wild-looking floral installation appeared to reclaim the vacant building for nature, with this botanical motif repeated in some of Piccioli’s designs, including floral dresses and blouses with ruffled petals.

Because of COVID, the audience at the Milan SS21 fashion show was smaller than usual, but that didn’t dent the drama.

Piccioli opted to use 66 street-cast models in the presentation: they traversed the factory floor to a live piano soundtrack by musician Labrinth, who used the industrial building’s acoustics to haunting effect.

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