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Show Report

Show Report: Valentino S/S 14 Menswear

by Lou Stoppard on 26 June 2013

Lou Stoppard reports on the Valentino S/S 14 menswear show.

Lou Stoppard reports on the Valentino S/S 14 menswear show.

There's a certain irony to seeing denim - the traditional working man's fabric - shown on the Valentino runway alongside opulent silks and crocodile skins. After all, the Valentino man is not one to toil. But Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Picciolim have a knack with contrasts. Their unique skill is merging new with tradition and couture elements with street aesthetics. Just look at that rockstud we're still seeing here, there and everywhere - what could scream grit and punk like a metal stud, but whack it on a supple leather bag or, for the girls, a dainty kitten heel and it's modern luxury. This season they'd also used it on flip flops with crocodile and rubber thongs, a new collaboration with Havaianas - truly the perfect gift for the man who has everything, as the Valentino man surely does.

Functionality has been a big theme across the shows this season, especially on the runways of the most luxurious brands - see Fendi's zip off sleeves and reversible blazers. The Valentino man may not be watching his pocket, but he's got the option of a two for the price of one if he'd like, thanks to reversible jackets and bags. Also adding to the feeling of practicality was the exploration of uniform that unpinned much of the showcase, hence the dense denims. To stop things feeling too geared to the every day, the duo had taken these tough guy fabrics and forms and given them a soft, luxurious Valentino' edge. So a camo print was feminised by being merged with florals - another example of the duo's seamless ability to blend hard and soft - while a whimsical toile de jouy print, carried over from the womenswear collection, proved the Valentino man is still a silk-clad dandy, rather than a denim-ed tough guy at the core.

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