On Wednesday designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino opened a flagship store dedicated solely to the world of menswear. The timing could not have been better. Ever since this designer duo started to breathe new life back into its menswear division with a runway show at Pitti Uomo in Florence two years ago, they have moved from strength to strength. Crafting a vision of a Valentino man that is elegant, sophisticated and just a tad street.
This time the designers stepped up on the urban aspect in the collection. But as this is after all Valentino, the dark denim pieces that came down the patchwork kilim rug catwalk were all custom made. Suits inspired by a man’s pajamas or heat bonded to give the fabric a sharp stand up edge on the seams, felt decidedly modern. It was also nice to see the brand’s now hallmark camouflage return and reworked to keep the concept fresh. And it’s a testament to the designers that a double take was needed to realize that one classic suit, worn under a rounded coat, was actually an all in one jumpsuit.
Outerwear was were the biggest statement pieces of the show shined. Those crafted from an assortment of pelts were the more obvious options. But they were just a few of several alternatives that moved from the classical – a navy gold buttoned double breasted coat - to the unconventional- a camel coat embellished with a falcon’s face on the back with its wings spreading over the shoulders and a few colorful wool “carpet” coat also impressed.
With this collection the designers found the fashion sweet spot that was both contemporary and classy.