Confident Valentino in first Paris menswear show

Associated Press
Models wear creations by fashion designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentino, as part of their presentation for the men's Spring Summer 2013 Haute Couture fashion collection presented in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 16 2013. (AP Photo/ Jacques Brinon)
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PARIS (AP) — The Valentino fashion house explored new landscapes in its first menswear show in Paris, travelling first class to London's Saville Row via a dash of British punk rock.

It was a highly confident affair.

Indeed, Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli said their decision to move from the Italian menswear tradeshow Pitti Uomo to the more-publicized Paris catwalk reflected this new confidence in their men's aesthetic.

The design duo have stamped their own bold vision on the Roman house in the few years they have been at the helm — this year in a show that left behind the charming Italian toy boy in favor of more sober British elegance.

Plays on patterns featured highly wearable single-breasted suits that harked back to 1960s fashions: Mary Quant-style checks, blown-up houndstooth, and lashings of plaid in a muted palette of black, navy, bottle green and black.

Some of the looks could easily have been worn to a British country club.

But despite all this, there was a strong, rebellious undercurrent that Piccioli called a nod to Mick Jagger. A fantastic, multicolored dyed fur collar set off one traditional camel overcoat — bold, but not garish.

Heat-bonded leather bands crossed traditional raincoats and recurred as mysterious-looking black paneling on mid-thigh overcoats, while some of the black leather coats and suit jackets had a sensual, rubbery quality.

"As a man, you know a suit, but you can have a different point of view," Piccioli said after Wednesday's fall-winter 2013-2014 preview show.

This collection proved him right.

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Follow Thomas Adamson at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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