Valentino A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Men’s

Valentino A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Men’s

The Roman house unveils a collaboration with Jun Takahashi of Undercover

Mood board: Time and time again, the question of ‘where is gender now?’ swirls around the shows like the smell of a lingering lunch. The lines between the masculine and the feminine are increasingly crossed. Tradition is tucked in, but designers pick and choose what they want. The relaxed is given rigour; leaner styles are cut in softer fabrics. creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli’s sensational womenswear for the house of Valentino is ultra feminine, in the most operatic sense, whilst his menswear has a more supple approach to classic masculine codes. For A/W 2019, he had greater fun with fluidity. The clothes had a liquid line. The silhouette of tailoring, outerwear and accessories was rooted in a sense of freedom and ease. What the show notes called: ‘A twist, in the sobriety.’

Best in show: Individual pieces were broken down, eased and re-calibrated in monochrome. There was graceful suiting; sleeveless wool jackets worn over coats. Lightly padded raincoats. A longer line on shirting worn underneath double breasted jackets. Rich wool coats with long, scarf collars. Standout were the space-age graphics designed in collaboration with Jun Takahashi of Undercover. His collages, featuring space ships, portraits of Ludwig van Beethoven in the film A Clockwork Orange, flying saucers and lunar landscapes, were used as intarsias, embroideries, jacquards and prints. The season’s standout coat will most likely be a round-shouldered mohair style, covered with Takahashi’s floating, sky-blue spaceships.

Finishing touches: Long gone are the days when designers would keep everything secret from one another. The mood today is less competitive and more convivial. For the coming season Piccioli collaborated with the eminent healthy footwear brand Birkenstock on two exclusive styles. Their classic Arizona sandals were shown in Valentino red with tonal buckles and a tonal full leather covered footbed. And in total black with the omnipresent VLTN logo writ large on the side in white. ‘No matter what you wear, who you are, no matter your gender or social background, no matter your age, your style, no matter if you care about fashion or if you do not, Birkenstock has its own universal language,’ Piccioli said. §

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