This past Wednesday, the start of the menswear show season was highlighted with the presentation of Valentino’s first menswear collection on the runway since founder Valentino Garavani’s retirement. Shown during the Pitti Ummo Fair in Florence, the collection also marks 50 years since the house of Valentino staged its first show in the city.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, the brand’s creative directors, said the collection was inspired by the cosmopolitan atmosphere of their native Rome and by the world of couture.
“This collection is close to the values of beauty and luxury of the brand, but our man is definitely far from what he was before,” Piccioli told STYLE.COM. “Beauty is individual and luxury is understated. You need a workmanship culture to buy a couture piece as you would need it to buy a sartorial jacket with the kind of innovation that takes place when tradition meets technology.”
The beauty of the pieces is so subtle that one has to look inside the garments to appreciate the real value of sartorial craftsmanship. A wool jacket bonded with horsehair, leather jackets bonded with cashmere, mixes of wool and nylon—this is luxury the way the designers see it, not obvious, but personal and private.
Smartly tailored jackets, sharp white shirts and skinny black ties amplified the collection’s ’60s feel, while short cape-like coats and narrow pants cropped over the sockless shoes gave it a dynamic, urban spirit. This combination of contemporary proportions and cutting edge silhouettes with precise construction and details reflecting haute couture was the aim of the collection.
But it’s the overall image and feel of the collection, not separate pieces and details, that is most important to the designers.
“To be perfect, everything has to be authentic,” Piccolo said. “But with the perfect proportions and a subtle something – everything is just about the obsession for perfection!”