Valentino Mens Fall 2012: The Label Returns to Florence at Pitti Uomo

FLORENCE--"We've had a long love affair with Valentino," Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine told me following Valentino's menswear show in Florence this week (Valentino made his international debut in Florence in 1962). "Of course we already had a relationship in the past with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti and we have done things with them in the past but that has totally changed...We started following the work of the new designers and waited for the moment when they were ready to launch a menswear line. Now we have seen their two menswear presentations and we decided the moment was right to launch the line." And what a launch it was.
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Leah Chernikoff
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FLORENCE--"We've had a long love affair with Valentino," Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine told me following Valentino's menswear show in Florence this week (Valentino made his international debut in Florence in 1962). "Of course we already had a relationship in the past with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti and we have done things with them in the past but that has totally changed...We started following the work of the new designers and waited for the moment when they were ready to launch a menswear line. Now we have seen their two menswear presentations and we decided the moment was right to launch the line." And what a launch it was.
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FLORENCE--"We've had a long love affair with Valentino," Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine told me following Valentino's menswear show in Florence this week (Valentino made his international debut in Florence in 1962). "Of course we already had a relationship in the past with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti and we have done things with them in the past but that has totally changed...We started following the work of the new designers and waited for the moment when they were ready to launch a menswear line. Now we have seen their two menswear presentations and we decided the moment was right to launch the line."

And what a launch it was. As the guest designer of Pitti Uomo, Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccoli were invited to show their 2012/13 fall winter menswear collection. The setting was the Palazzo Corsini, a beautiful 16th century baroque palace with frescoes on the ceiling--which served to put Chiuri and Piccoli's modern collection in sharp relief. As if the streamlined silhouettes--sleek suiting and delicate, light trenches and peacoats which were tented at the back (a nod to couture)--didn't scream 'modern' loud enough, models walked in front of a blindingly bright LED screen that showed video of the runway. After walking through a courtyard softly lit with lanterns and filled with champagne flutes the bright lights and sleek lines were jarring--and that was the point.

The technology and construction matched the modern silhouettes: Fabrics were heat-bonded together and materials used ranged from cashmere to Japanese denim. The color palette was muted--no bright red Valentino red here--only deep forest green, maroons, and navy's mixed in with all the black. And if you thought that portfolio clutch trend was for women only, think again. Chiuri and Piccioli's models clutched thick leather envelopes that looked just about iPad size...