Valentino’s athlete couture and ostrich feather sneakers
One could practically organize a successful NBA franchise composed of the front row of Wednesday evening’s Valentino show, so many basketball stars flew into Paris for the catwalk event.
From Carmelo Anthony to PJ Tucker, all dressed to the nines in Valentino’s wild camouflage tops, tropical palm silk baseball jackets and VLTN logo jerkins. And for spring 2019, the house’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli took the collection into even wilder regions; anchoring many looks with ostrich trimmed sneakers.
“I think I am the only designer who is allowed to do a feathered sneaker. It elevates the runway. These guys love couture not for the craft but because it’s a way of expressing themselves. Their eccentricities and extravagance,” said Piccioli after posing for photos with the athletes backstage in the Louvre’s Decorative Arts Museum. They all towered over the Roman couturier.
Piccioli is famous for his inspired and frequently classical mood boards. And even though this collection had enormous chunks of streetwear, his mood board referenced the Renaissance painter Fra Angelico’s famous angel wings, Albrecht Dürer’s animals and lots of bootleg record covers.
There wasn’t one suit in sight, instead track pants, bombers and trench coats featuring wings, classical art and hippie florals. Done in fuchsia, pink and mint green. For wilder moments, there was even a tracksuit embroidered with a wise old owl.
All finished with intertwining logos; the brand’s name and huge Vs. one green camouflage trench looked like it was rained upon by lime green neon Valentinos. “I mixed in logos from the 70s made originally by Signor Valentino himself,” confessed Piccioli.
And a pure couture element, feathered cloche hats, normally for ladies attending surrealist balls but worn by longhaired male models.
“I want Valentino not as an exclusive brand but as an inclusive brand. To face life and not lifestyle. I want the values of couture but with the street because that’s where life is. I want to face the new generation as I feel they have the power of new ideas,” insisted Piccioli.
Why, one wondered, had he become such a star among NBA stars?
“I just love the way Pierpaolo creates. The freedom of his mind. I think Valentino suits my aesthetic totally, and lots of my friends feel the same way,” Anthony told FashionNetwork.com.
Added the designer: “I think they like Valentino because I really try to understand them. And I am learning from these guys every day.”
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