Valentino A/W 2018
Mood board: the notes to the A/W 2018 men’s collection talked about romanticism; creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli had unpacked this as a subversion of the private thoughts we lay bare. He wanted to consider a new uniform for a new world. Along with long-time creative partner Maria Grazia Chiuri, Piccioli shaped a definitive look for the house, grounded in a certain poeticism. Chiuri left to work for Dior in 2016 and since then Piccioli has gone on to refine and authenticate well-known codes for its menswear; elevated archetypal staples. Elegant street-wear influenced clothes with embellished details.
Best in show: here he riffed on his own repertoire, offering slim-fit tracksuits as new tailoring and looking to punk for both mood and material. MA1 Bombers, wool shirt jackets and long coats were scattered with metal spikes; dragon and tiger intarsia across outerwear was inspired by two archival haute couture garments from the 1960s. All of the models carried accessories – some held small leather pouches by their knees, others clutched patent messenger bags emblazoned with the VLTN logo.
Finishing touches: from London to Milan and now in Paris, attendees to the shows are in the season’s key look – a good basic jean, statement lo-fi luxury sneakers and a giant, oversized ski jacket. Almost every collection offers their version of the style. Some exaggerate their propositions (like Rick Owens did last A/W) and some have created more sartorial, tactile versions like the deep-pile herringbone bomber seen at Pal Zileri. Valentino has gone for it too, unveiling a collaboration with quintessential Italian sportswear brand Moncler. Piccioli’s down jackets are long in glossy black polyamide and lined in bright red, quilted with a pattern in navy and black. Or they are short and in bright white, printed with – you guessed it – a giant logo across the back.