Valentino’s darkly romantic vision
Codes, demolishing them, reinventing some even as you subvert others were the big message in the latest collection in Paris by Valentino, Rome’s most famous couture house.
Under the guidance of Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino has become instantly recognizable for its rock-stud detailing and fondness for funky camouflage. These were again the leitmotif of the fall 2018 menswear collection, staged in the Salomon de Rothschild mansion in the tony 8th arrondissement.
Except this season, the rock studs instead of being punchy detailing became lordly additions to a snazzy series of impeccably cut cashmere coats, and rather unique frockcoats. While the camouflage, previously seen in green jungle nylon blousons appeared in remarkable animal intarsia coats, in black and blue, an expression of the couture quality of many of these clothes.
Valentino also hooked up with Moncler with some huge new down coats – large enough for a Soviet coach to wear on the sidelines of a sub-freezing league match in Kazakhstan. Except these versions looked rapper rogue, and finished with another Piccioli invention the VLTN reduced script logo that he introduced last year.
“Aristopunk, a delicate rebellion,” the Roman designer termed all this. Though, quite frankly, while rockers have roamed the corridors and bedrooms of country mansions since the Rolling Stones recorded Their Satanic Majesties Request, we have found precious few punks among the landed gentry.
Backed up by a wonderful excerpts of David Sylvain classics on the soundtrack, there was a festive air to the proceedings. And, a front-row packed with movie stars: from Pedro Pascal, star of both Narcos and Game of Thrones to Mark Ruffalo, who played the enraged reporter in the Oscar winning Spothlight, about child abuse by the Catholic clergy in Boston. They all partied after upstairs, the mood ebullient and congratulatory.
But there is nothing abusive about Valentino’s financial performance. CEO Stefano Sassi told FashionNetwork.com that the house had scored a highly respectable 5% increase in annual revenues to just under 1.2 billion euros in 2017. So, there is a method to all this madness of subverting a brand’s DNA lovingly.
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