Images: Valentino Goes Awesomely Goth for Pre-Fall 2021 Collection

“I got nothing to say I ain’t said before
I bled all I can, I won’t bleed no more
I don’t need no one to understand
Why the blood runs cold in the hired hand
On heart, hand of God” – ‘This Corrosion’, Sisters of Mercy

If there was any doubt, the last fifteen months have decisively verified that the goths have been right all along: existence is but a long narrative of existential chaos and dread. Or as Nietzsche so pithily summed it up: “To live is to suffer.”

Sure, it’s hopeful that the COVID vaccination programs seem to be working – and many are already busting out their swimsuits and surfboards for a summer of unbridled merriment. But some will surely continue to live by the Morrissey-penned manifesto, “I wear black on the outside, because black is how I feel on the inside.” And for they, those who never really have to ponder the question of whether to wear white after Labor Day (or ever), Valentino‘s Pre-Fall 2021 collection just may provide veritable one-stop shopping for the coming of autumn.

Indeed, black is definitely the new black at the exalted Italian fashion house. Provocatively sheer floor-length dresses, Victorian style peekaboo lace, turtleneck cashmere capes, goth-chunky and SS style boots, are all starkly presented in the color of the raven, yet are as alluring and sensual as an evening with your favorite vampiric lover. And speaking of dangerous creatures, the leopard also makes an appearance – because as we all know, after the panther, she is the most gothic of all the felines.

The campaign was appropriately shot in an eerily desolate, decaying Roman palazzo, with fading baroque detailing making for a more than sufficiently decadent backdrop. Though Valentino Creative Director / photographer Pierpaolo Piccioli insists that it’s all still in the service of a more elevated purpose.

“The way I approached the shoot was a metaphor of what I’m doing at Valentino,” he explains. “It’s just about putting humanity front and center as a non-negotiable social, political, and personal value.”

Goth = enlightenment.

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