Just like womenswear, more and more menswear designers are taking inspiration from the sixties. Tom Ford’s recent collection had a strong sixties vibe to it, and this was echoed in the latest collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino.
But this was not just another run of the mill, copycat collection. Although similar in its varied use of materials (fur, quilting, high-shine leather) to many other collections already shown this year, a really interesting use of a central black leather band around many of the items of clothing gave this collection a unique, almost futuristic feel. Seen on coats, blazers and jackets, such a simple addition to the pieces had the surprising effect of making them seem like new, innovative designs.
The high shine band was also reflected elsewhere in the collection, as texture was manipulated: high-shine sleeves were juxtaposed against woollen bodies of coats, which has been seen for the last year or so in many women’s collections.
Other pieces were characterised with oversized versions of classic prints, such as houndstooth, turning conventional suiting into much more of a statement. Checks were certainly a prominent pattern in this collection, appearing in bold combinations on jumpers, jackets and even capes – again paying homage to sixties sensibility.
An interesting use of asymmetry was also made, with scarf like additions to the lapels of blazers in counter-intuitive fabrics that looked as if they were simultaneously a part of the garment, yet somehow a whole new garment themselves.
There was also a noticeable step away from larger, satchel or tote style bags to a more discreet, hand held clutch type, with many models sporting one in either a muted shade of navy or black leather, or a colour blocked one, tucked into the crook of the wrist or held in the hand.
Overall, this was an incredibly ambitious collection, with very few clothing avenues left unexplored. However, it was done expertly, with outlandish choices of more feminine bags and theatrical capes blending seamlessly into the rest of the collection.