Although the Valentino headquarters in Milan is temporarily closed and Italy is on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, local fans of the Italian fashion label can still experience a piece of the Rome couture atelier — and show support for the brand — this week by way of a pop-up installation in Beverly Hills.
Open now through Saturday inside the Valentino boutique at 324 N. Rodeo Drive, the Le Blanc shop-in-shop (decorated with a white work table, clothing rack and mannequin forms) is a showcase for the label’s new made-to-order white shirting program.
Seasoned Valentino seamstresses are on hand to take orders for a women’s white poplin button-front shirt, in a cropped or tunic length, customized with a choice of sleeves and embellishments.
The six options for customization include sleeves with wrap-around ruffles, couture-inspired pouf sleeves, feather-embellished sleeves, ruffled cuffs, sequined floral embroidery or beaded Arabesque embroidery as well as monogramming.
Customers can walk in for appointments, and pricing runs from $1,700 to $3,900 for the finished product, which is custom made and delivered in nine weeks.
Valentino Garavani famously showed an all-white collection for his namesake house in 1968, which later inspired a 2014 haute couture collection with 47 snow-white looks by then-creative directors Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Now the solo Valentino creative director, Piccioli went for a whiteout in the first 12 looks from the brand's spring and summer 2020 collection, presented on a Paris catwalk in September. The range of white shirts and shirt dresses was reimagined with ostrich feather trim, ruffles, pleating and volumized sleeves.
The Le Blanc project takes the runway looks one step closer to the reality of daily dressing by customizing the white shirt, long a wardrobe staple, with couture flourishes.
“I wanted to work on something universal, to get back to the essence of shape and volume,” Piccioli wrote in a statement. “I’m not sure the new generation cares about how many stitches there are in a dress, how many ruffles, how many hours of work. They’re more fascinated by the boldness of couture, the freedom to express yourself.”
Los Angeles is one of only three U.S. locations to offer the shirting program, which took place in the Fifth Avenue Valentino boutique in New York in February and moves to the Valentino shop at Highland Park Village in Dallas on March 25.
Valentino, 324 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 247-0103, valentino.com