PARIS — That ceremonial practices have largely gone the way of glaciers in the early part of the 21st century is yet another reality we must all face. There is little if anything any more that is sacred, profanity conquered long ago. Collectively how occupants of this planet address climbing temperatures and rising sea levels or for that matter that what counts for tradition has everything to do with which memes have the most currency in the scrolling feeds of the still living. This truly rotten state of affairs, however is nothing to mourn, but rather respond with an even braver vision that embraces the future without amnesia for a not-so-distant past, one that ultimately makes us (and that term is used advisedly) who we are. This much was at stake late Wednesday afternoon at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild where Pierpaolo Piccioli showed his Fall / Winter 2017-2018 haute couture collection for Valentino.

The sole Valentino creative director explicitly addressed this peculiar moment in which the time honored practice of haute couture finds itself by creating a collection that mingles the sacred with the profane. To that end, this was a collection in which vestments, robes, and tunics were worn over skirts, pants, turtlenecks, in other words, separates. These wearable garments were not mere acknowledgement of a Valentino woman living in the world, but in fact were a glorious celebration. Heavenly angels together found voice with terrestrial demons to create a chorus of immense depth, neither of which could be achieved by one without the other. This duality also found expression in the minaudière bags, which were designed in collaboration with artist Harumi Klossowska de Rola. Each bag represented one of the seven capital vices as embodied in figures such as the lion, bull, and skull, all of which are multivalent in terms of meaning.

On the afternoon, seven girls from across the Next global network featured in the show including Julie Hoomans, Selena Forrest, Tessa Bruinsma, Leila Goldkuhl, Nandy Nicodème, Lineisy Montero, and Estella Brons.

Credits include: Client, Valentino; Collection, Haute Couture Fall / Winter 2017; Creative design, Pierpaolo Piccioli; Styling, Joe McKenna; Hair, Guido Palau; Makeup, Pat McGrath; Casting, Patrizia Pilotti; Video, Damien Neva at Next Management.