Pierpaolo Piccioli designs puffer evening dresses for Moncler Genius collection
Moncler Genius Pierpaolo Piccioli

Pierpaolo Piccioli designs puffer evening dresses for Moncler

Moncler has unveiled a collection of padded full-length evening dresses by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli at Milan Fashion Week.

The collection of twelve colourful floor-length dresses with full skirts was created by Piccioli – one of nine designers invited to reinterpret the outdoor clothing company's down jackets as part of this year's Moncler Genius collections.

Moncler Genius collection by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli at Milan Fashion Week

Some had padded hoods and bulbous sleeves, with one hood cocooning the model's entire upper body.

Another hood was draped around the head and shoulders, whilst other dresses were entirely off-the-shoulder with large bows at the back and trains that dragged along the floor.

Moncler Genius collection by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli at Milan Fashion Week

The skirt of one yellow dress with a trim detail around the bottom extended from the hood to the floor creating a full triangular tent-like cocoon.

The dresses were created by Piccioli in collaboration with model and designer Liya Kebede, whose label Lemlem inspired the patterned trim details based on African textiles.

Lemlem supports artisans in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa, commissioning them to produce handmade pieces of clothing.

Moncler Genius collection by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli at Milan Fashion Week

"I am after a balance of dreaminess, extravagance and soulfulness," said Piccioli. "I involved Liya Kebede in the process, creating something true to her, to Moncler and to my own sensibility. Connecting diversities is my idea of inclusive creativity."

The collection aims to show the craftsmanship of the artisans in a context in which they might otherwise not be seen.

Moncler Genius collection by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli at Milan Fashion Week

"There is no better way to show how time-honoured traditions, like our artisans' work, have a place in modern fashion than this partnership, working with Pierpaolo and Moncler," said Kebede.

"I was honoured to be a part of this creative process, bringing together heritages that at first glimpse seemed so different but when unexpectedly combined, create something so rich and new, redefining beauty and reminding us that there are no borders in life."

Moncler Genius collection by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli at Milan Fashion Week

This collection, and the eight others were presented simultaneously at an event in Milan on Wednesday night in different parts of the tunnels beneath Milan Centrale train station.

The look book for Piccioli's collection was shot against the backdrop of the grand interiors of a villa outside Milan.

 Moncler Genius collection by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli at Milan Fashion Week

The nine collections form the third iteration of Moncler's Genius project, the first of which launched at Milan Fashion Week last year. This year Milan Fashion Week runs 19 to 25 February.

Moncler has again collaborated with "genius" designers, including Craig Green, Richard Quinn and Simone Rocha, and for the second time included a set of puffer jackets for dogs.

Moncler Genius collection by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli at Milan Fashion Week

Green returns to the Moncler genius project this year after presenting a collection of voluminous monochrome pieces in 2018 that resembled life-saving flotation devices that partially concealed the models' faces.