Valentino Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Paris
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How to make the utilitarian garb of the working class into something sophisticated and covetable? Leave it to designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino to come up with a solution.

The designers were meticulous in their exploration and transformation of everything in denim, which they used in different color washes as: bands of fabric on a coat or as a light denim suit jacket which would darken down at the bottom to match perfectly with a pair of tailored denim pants, to camouflage which came as a print on pants with a flower motif woven in or as textural waves undulating over a car coat. And the introduction of a toile de Jouy fabric into the mix tweaked the workwear concept just enough to give the idea a cerebral twist.

There was also a real feeling of deconstructionism in the designs that created a potent graphic effect. Paired with an undercurrent of military dress and it made for a dynamic juxtaposition. Jackets looked to be turned inside out, the colorful seams zipping down the spine as a flap of fabric caressed the back of the shoulders. Shirts had pockets created out of heat bonded strips of leather (think black electric tape). And pants with reflective strips sewn into the back of the knees were an inspired take on urban safety gear.

In just a few short seasons Chiuri and Piccioli have brought to life a modern Valentino man who is effortlessly elegant in clothing, that has been scrupulously crafted.

- Jessica Michault

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