Thursday 17th January

| BY Dino Bonacic

Valentino: Menswear AW19

2 Become 1 by the Spice Girls must have been playing in the Valentino atelier during the making of their AW19 men’s collection. For the season, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s vision wasn’t just his – on this occasion, the Italian designer worked with his Japanese peer, Jun Takahashi of Undercover, on creating a collection that came as close to couture as Valentino menswear ever had. Immaculate tailoring led the way, now illustrated by Takahashi with elements of UFOs, time-travelling iconography as well as imagery of Beethoven as seen in Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic A Clockwork Orange. Yes, sounds like a lot of different streams, but they all came together into one harmonious river of a collection.

The looks flowed quite impressively, from the very first one – a long black coat with an oversized print – to the very last – another black coat, now with ‘Valentino’ written across the chest in a scarlet red. Symbolic beginning and end, representing two minds, and a whole rhapsody of visuals that came in between. The influence of Undercover wasn’t limited to what Takahashi done, but was seen throughout. A sporty, almost-streetwear essence was present, with bold trainers worn against the suits, and bum bags making their appearance too. Their collaboration also continued into Takahashi’s own collection for Undercover, which was revealed exactly two hours later via another catwalk show, again inspired by A Clockwork Orange, now approached much more direct way.

The collaboration train didn’t stop with Undercover. The Valentino logo sandals which some of the models in the show walked in presented Piccioli’s take on the classic Birkenstock Arizona sandal, created together with the shoe brand. One for fun, other for comfort, and a lot for the sake of fabulousness – Valentino AW19 has got it all.

Photography by Jason Lloyd– Evans.