The thing is, you can do all the the hippest streetwear, you can go mad for maximalism, you can adapt athleisure and make it work for everyday living. But whatever you do, you can’t make it as cool as the looks of those few years in the late 60s and early 70s when Jackie O and all-thing-Italian were about as good as it was possible to get.
It was a look Frida Giannini loved in her days at Gucci – but while she made it hugely influential for the high street, it also kind of got her fired, because it just didn’t sell well enough for Gucci itself.
But now it’s also a look Pierpaolo Piccioli is backing heavily at Valentino for pre-summer 19. Let’s hope it does better for him. It deserves to, because the new collection is well, fabulous.
It’s got all the those cool pieces that the era loved – cute little leftover-from-the-60s mini shifts, or more fluid 70s-style minis, flared jeans, peacoats, luxe boho maxis, oversized hexagonal shades, heeled loafers with a ghillie fringe, printed headscarves, neat shoulderbags (remember them?), and giant hoop or disc earrings.
But Piccioli has brought it up to date too by plastering everything with logos. While I’m not the world’s biggest logo fan, for the most part it works. Some of them are a bit too in-your-face and the VLTN on a sock boot felt too much like Piccioli was channelling Demna Gvasalia.
But the VLTN repeats worked into geometric prints on bags, the full name in multiple sizes cascading across silk dresses, printed in the edging of stylised florals or as naive appliqués on a retro cape all feel like fun. And for those who might find that a bit OTT, the letter V (or each of the letters in the name Valentino) used as repeat patterns that you don’t quite twig even contain logos should satisfy.
The red, white and blue sequins, the beading, and the pretty-pretty broderie should be snapped up by celebs looking for special event dresses. Meanwhile the label’s trademark floral appliqués on tough cottons alongside the meadows florals as allovers on sweet-but-cool dresses or placements on tailoring shod be on plenty of wish lists too. They continue Piccioli’s grand tradition allying strong silhouettes with equally powerful pattern stories and I loved almost all of them.