human formation

Valentino tap performance artist Vanessa Beecroft for a conceptual tableau vivants campaign series
By Alex James Taylor | Fashion | 5 May 2016

Conceptual artist Vanessa Beecroft’s name is a sure-fire guarantee for the spectacular. From her seminal 1998 installation “Show” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York featuring models that were nude or clad in Gucci bikinis to her more recent collaborations with Louis Vuitton and Kanye West, Beecroft’s nude tableau vivants physicalise her aesthetic with immediate results. 

Valentino have tapped into Beecroft’s creative vision to launch its ‘Rockstud Untitled’ unisex collection for pre-fall. The collection draws inspiration from the Japanese Wabi-sabi philosophy, the notion that nothing is perfect, nothing lasts, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect – sentiments that runs throughout Beecroft’s work.

Photo: Vanessa Beecroft

Set at the New York Academy of Art, Beecroft filmed and photographed 25 different men and women, creating a human formation, sparse and candid in expression. In the mix is actress Emily Mortimer and her husband Alessandro Nivola, model Nicolas Malleville and a line-up of street cast models.

“I have never worked on a unisex concept because my work focuses on sex distinction,” said Beecroft. “I work with groups of women, groups that can look identical from a distance, but that are formed by different identities, different women dressed the same. Like something military. I love the purity of the current designs of Valentino, the consolidation of past techniques with a vision of the present and future. This is an ultimate dream of mine. It was a challenge to work in such a short time on a relatively casual project without looking like an imitation of myself. The active collaboration of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli made this possible and feel it like an adventure”


Shop the collection now online and in Valentino stores.

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