Hosted in the Royal Albert Hall in London on the night of Monday 5th December, the Fashion Awards of 2022 have been assigned. Provided by the British Fashion Council, and fundraised by the same BFC Foundation, these awards are described as an opportunity for the fashion population to support the duty they have towards young generations, to inspire them and motivate them to know that a creative future is possible, keeping solid the values of a positive industry that promotes excellences without living anyone behind.
The categories are many and different, going from “Metaverse world and gaming experience award”, a prize that looks much towards the future of fashion, this year won by Burberry, to “Model of The Year”, queen Bella Hadid thanks to her positive global impact on and out of the catwalk, to “Leaders of Change” for creativity, environment and people.
But the award that made my heart burst with joy was the “Designer of the year”, won by Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli this year, as well as in 2018, ten years after he entered the Maison as a fashion designer. The reason the BFC gives for the prize is: “The designer of the year award recognizes a British or international designer whose innovative collections have made a notable impact on the industry, defining the shape of global fashion.”
As Mariella Milani, an Italian fashion journalist, said, what makes him honorable is not just his creativity in fashion, but also his humanitarian spirit. The image that he gives, of a man that is happy while doing his job and is deeply rooted to his true self and kept grounded by his family - living with him in Nettuno, his natal city an hour away from Rome - and team, from the founders of the brand, showing him support and respect, to the seamstresses, who he brought on the catwalk at the end of his shows to remind the public that behind the scenes there are a lot of hard working people creating the beauty of Valentino. Even on the Fashion Awards stage he wanted Florence Pugh by his side, afraid that alone he might have fainted from all the mixed emotions; no personal spotlight, again reminding us that what he makes his also made thanks to the people who stand beside him, from his work-team to his family, biological and enlarged with the Maison friends and ambassadors.
This year Piccioli publicly demonstrated many times to be one to put his spotlight for good use. Valentino’s color was bright pink, in collaboration with Pantone, reminding us the power of fashion not to just create beauty but also to give back hope and strength to people is such hard times, gifting us with two spectacular runaways, the first in March, at PFW chez Le Carreur du Temple, and the second one in Piazza di Spagna in Rome.
For September Italian elections, calling himself “Un uomo di sinistra”, he spoke up, to remark the political and social values he believes in, to state once again that freedom and rights and equality, and not least the chance to dream, for all people, helping those in needs, providing a safe environment for queer people, for women, for children, for foreigners, all long obstructed, is the base for a fair and flourishing society.
Last but not least, with the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Piccioli launched an initiative for young, visionary designers to help them grow and support their projects: the fortunate one was the made-in-Bologna homonymous brand Marco Rambaldi, with who Piccioli found immediately a connection, as both of them value fashion as a form of art but also a political medium.
Let me wrap up this article with the words Piccioli himself wrote on Instagram to celebrate:
“Grazie to everyone that made this happen. This victory belongs to me as much as it belongs to every single person that works in Maison Valentino, not only because they all supported me in every possible way but because their passion and dedication inspires me more than they could ever know. This victory to me is a reminder that in the era of realism, we want to face reality , even when it’s tough, and we want to lead positive changes through the power of beauty. With fashion and thorough fashion we create a world in which beauty can be the mirror for all beauties, in which we have the privilege and the opportunity to shape a welcoming environment for creativity because fashion is culture based on creativity. Fashion is a language, a powerful one, and with such a power comes also a big responsibility because what we do with our work is a reflection of our values and a manifesto of our will. Fashion can also be a radical, aware and political act of rebellion, and I love that. ‘Non vogliamo essere subito gia’ cosi’ senza sogni.’”
See you next time my babes!