SPRING MENSWEAR: VALENTINO
by Jeremy Danté
ITALY – i have said many times before & this season is no different, i have a special place in my heart for the house of valentino. when looking at collections, i envision whether or not i would actually wear the pieces being shown. certain collections, im more selective about what i like- others i love in their entirety. the spring 2013 menswear collection from valentino is one of those ‘i love’, completely & entirely. since maria grazia chiuri & pier paolo piccioli took the helm at the label, i have been watching. i gave them a chance within my own taste level, not holding them to the standard in which the valentino legacy was built. i allowed myself to understand where this new direction would lead, what level of taste was looking to be served up on the runways from couture to womenswear & now with what we see being served for menswear. thus far, though i have been aware of criticism the label has faced, i still love each collection every season. challenging my own understanding of style, brand heritage & the evolution of aged legacy- valentino as a label is one that never disappoints me. though the collection kept things simple, it’s that simplicity that i seek amidst all of the chaos of more experimental labels in fashion. through greater simplicity, i feel like the true foundation of style can be felt on a greater wavelength. it’s more authentic when stripped.
through belief that couture is a culture, the valentino label looked for ways to bring that same level of craftsmanship to their menswear endeavors. which is exactly what i love about runway- what we see in images or videos is not even a thought when you see, feel & wear the clothes. the value of style cannot be properly felt in looking at simple photographs or even when looking at the collections in motion. which is exactly why i have such an intense need to articulate things- so that you feel them rather than just ‘seeing’ them. which is what it’s all about for me during show season. look after look, from the multilayer concepts with color blocking, i was floored at how intensely i was impacted by clothes that appear so simply. the fact that the label is looking for ways to introduce couture style craftsmanship is completely necessary at this stage in the game. in amping up for london men’s collections, i heard a statistic that said menswear is growing at twice the rate of womenswear- which is exciting. not only for us dudes, but the fact that our development as a culture is evident with the knowledge of this statistic. it shows that we, as people have advanced to a new stage in the game that is much more aware & concerned with style. aspects of grooming, showcasing of design, sales of cosmetics- it’s all evidence that we are taking greater measures to look good, to present better. i love that, amidst the intention to promote a higher level of craftsmanship, the clothes still appear as wearable- they’re just constructed better. the choice in textile is more refined, but it doesn’t come off as pretentious. the intent is so high fashion, but the clothes aren’t off-putting- like many high fashion collections can be. overall, it’s a high end approach without the ‘im better than you’ complex. cohesive from start to finish, i will say- this is my favorite collection this season, thus far. [source]