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CosimaPhotography David Sessions

Cosima broke our hearts at Valentino’s AW21 show

The British singer-songwriter sang moving covers of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ and ‘Wishing on a Star’

For the past few seasons, Valentino has advocated a life in technicolour. But yesterday Pierpaolo Piccioli offered up an almost entirely monochrome collection. It resulted in an unexpectedly sombre mood, cut through with live vocals from the British singer-songwriter, Cosima, who stood in the shadows of the Piccolo Teatro Strehler in an impeccably-tailored all-black suit. 

The Londoner’s haunting renditions of “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor (via Prince) and Rose Royce’s “Wishing on a Starimbued the empty rows of the theatre, which had been dark for almost a year, with tenderness. It was “an awareness of what we need: emotions, dreams, feelings,'' Piccioli said. And it was all a bit much for a gloomy Monday afternoon stuck in lockdown, chiming with our chronic sense of longing and loneliness. 

It was also in stark contrast to the rest of Milan’s AW21 mood, which has been of unrelenting post-pandemic glamour (see Prada’s sequin shawls, the canary yellow bodysuits at GCDS, or quite literally anything at Moschino). Valentino, however, said it’s okay if we’re not ready to move on and hit the blinding lights of the dancefloor just yet – giving us a moment of respite to reflect on the emotional hangover of the past year. 

In other news, today marks the first day of Paris Fashion Week, where we will be coming live and direct from, well… not Paris unfortunately. Corona has us firmly in its grip, but we can dream. Let’s see if the Parisian brands can offer a balm.