by Jeremy Danté

MILAN – 50 years ago this season, valentino garavani showed his first collection in florence, italy. his 1962 debut set the tone for international interest & the historical presence of the house of valentino. considered a maestro of italian couture at the time, the house of valentino has seen many modernizations & many business changes. from worldwide brand expansion to stakes purchased & ultimately shape shifting the label, the italian based brand is one of extreme value in fashion. while valentino, himself, is no longer with the company; current creative directors, maria grazia chiuri & pierpaolo piccioli have done well in their appointment & have allowed the label to take on a reinvigorated direction. though reinvigorated, both chiuri & piccioli have remained true to the valentino signature, having both worked alongside the italian design maven for over a decade. in an effort to allow their label to have a stronger presence in high fashion, the label has taken greater strides in re-introducing their menswear label on the global stage. after presenting off-runway collections for a few seasons now, this runway show marks the official re-entry of the valentino menswear line into men’s fashion week. presented as the first collection of many to follow this season in milan.

i loved the collection for it’s classical & modern feel. the valentino label has a strong history rooted in modern sophistication & in the last few year, womenswear has soaked the spotlight. amidst the expected fall coats were white shirt/black tie combination looks as the palette drew you in a bit more. the collection hoses a number of caped coats that i was incredibly obsessed with by the end of the show. the collection seems to play nice with the unspoken rules of menswear & tailoring was done in a perfected, precise manner. perhaps the most inspiring aspect of the collection were the men’s accessories; most menswear lines are heavily based on coats, pants or ties but accessories are what allow a brand to really expand, considering that they can act as bait for consumers in both the middle & upper tiers of the market. lined by projection screens, the runway was dowsed with deep maroons & heavy forest greens with the regular cameo notes of white & black being balanced with husky greys. as one designer womenswear label which i love, not even just for design but for the emotional connection i’ve established with the company itself; im extrememly excited to see that a greater effort to produce menswear & to promote the line is now being taken by the house of valentino. it’s always astonishing to me, labels that dominate in creative concepts through womenswear & couture always seem a bit dulled with menswear. well balanced, the menswear collection could easily be presented alongside any valentino womenswear look & appear handsomely as a male counterpart. a perfect time to be re-introduced, im now fully excited about the house of valentino’s upcoming collections of couture & womenswear. this set the tone for what i expect & love of menswear, incredibly well. i would, literally, wear every piece in this collection- as it speaks to the classic/minimalist/sophisticated dude in me.