You could see the mental calculations being made by both men and women as they left the Valentino Spring/Summer 2016 menswear show. They were all trying to figure out just how much of this flawless collection they could get away with buying without having to put a second mortgage on their house.
Even the sweltering heat of the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild couldn't dampen the audience's enthusiasm for the collection. There wasn't one item in the show – not the souvenir silk jackets embroidered with tigers or dragons or sliver thread patches in forms of mythical creatures nor the Native American beading on bracelets adorning outerwear, not even the 1940s inspired Hawaiian t-shirts or the perfectly well loved denim jeans – that wasn't a winner.
This youthful collection acted like a sartorial photo album of sorts. Each ensemble bearing designer embellishments that made them look and feel personalized, marking the route traveled by the brand's globetrotting luxury consumer.
Once again the craftsmanship was outstanding. A series of coats covered in brightly colored botanical leather appliqué were particularly impressive. Likewise, the patchwork denim camouflage jackets and a pea coat that featured a prancing unicorn.
It was a pleasure to see designer Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli redirect the impressive talents of the Valentino atelier towards garments that had a broader and more universal appeal without sacrificing an iota of excellence. Going with a younger silhouette also felt timely for the brand as it has sometimes leaned too far into an almost unattainable realm of sophistication with its offerings.
The designers took their audience on a world tour of style. And no one who was on the voyage with them ever wanted to return home.