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Valentino meets Undercover

In a show full of surprises

Valentino meets Undercover In a show full of surprises

The second day of Men's Paris Fashion Week had one of its protagonists in Valentino, which for the occasion had prepared a couple of surprises. On the runway, in fact, there's been the unveiling of two quite unexpected collaborations, with brands that we would normally consider distant from Valentino's universe, that's to say Birkenstock and Undercover

I wanted to reimagine sartorial menswear with a more free approach. 

These were the words of creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli after the show, words that summerize perfectly the FW19 collection. Real protagonists on the catwalk were timeless and classic pieces of the men's closet, long coats, blazers, shirts, elegant trousers, all characterized by an unprecedented fluidity and softness. The male uniform frees itself, becomes less uptight, more wearable. We see high levels of minimalism, but always balanced with unexpected details. The color palette of the show is made of black -  a lot of it, beautiful - grey and camel, with pops of red in the embroideries and on the edge of the coats. 

Then it came the first surprise of the show: the models on the runway are walking around wearing the classic Birkenstocks, both in black and red, some of them with the Valentino logo on the side, all worn with thick black socks. 

It is a shoe that has universality, like denim. It has no gender, no status. They’re seasonless too. 

The real highlight of the collection, though, was definitely the unveiling of the collaboration with Undercover. Piccioli met Jun Takahashi of Undercover after the Valentino show in Tokyo at the end of last year. The duo decided to collaborate on the creation of a series of prints that would appear in both menswear collections, which were both scheluded yesterday two hours apart. Takahashi gave life to the artworks for the prints drawing inspiration from 'Edgar Allan Poe time traveler theory'. According to the legend Poe was able to travel in time, and this is based on the fact that in two of his novels and one of his poems he seemed to predict events and discoveries that unfolded after his death. The artworks feature traveler slogans, spaceships, skulls, all with a very '50s sci-fi style. On the top of everything, a joint VU logo, seen in both shows. 

In this collection, Piccioli managed to balance more classic menswear pieces with other more sportswear-oriented, aware of the fact that this trend is still going strong. 

So the thing is to find a new way to integrate sportswear. To have a coat with the ease of a hoodie. 

A unique synthesis, renovated and further twisted by the aesthetic of Undercover, that introduces Valentino to a new adventure in the sportswear world, while still remaining true to its real essence. 

Photo by Vogue and Now Fashion