A crisp white shirt is the ultimate staple, and hard to improve upon. But Valentino's creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli used this classic as the starting point of his Spring 2020 collection and turned the most basic of garments into a groundswell of style ideas.
He opened the show in September with 12 all-white looks, ranging from sensible shirt dresses to voluminous gauzy Renaissance-inspired silhouettes. It was an homage of sorts to the house founder, whose 1968 All White collection is still talked about reverentially.
It was also the continuation of Piccioli's lifelong effort to treat ready-to-wear "with a couture sensibility." Now, he's expanding on that principle by offering Valentino's devoted clientele the chance to customize their own white shirts as they see fit.
As part of a new pop-up called LeBlanc, clients can make to order two white poplin shirt options from the spring collection with six different fits and embellishments. They can choose a perfectly tailored shirt or an ostrich-feather confection, or anything in-between. Think of it like a walk-in couture appointment.
Intended to be a totally immersive experience, the program kicks off at the New York flagship on Monday through the end of the week, before moving to Los Angeles (March 11-14) and then Dallas (March 25-27).
All the other global boutiques featuring the pop-up will be be decorated in the spirit of the capsule. The boutiques will offer the new Valentino Garavani SuperVee bag in all-white as well as giant three-dimensional flowers and unique exhibitions in a white monochromatic palette, merging the worlds of art and fashion.
Here's yet another idea: Piccioli, whose couture shows tend to be received with religious adulation, is fashion's main evangelist for "taking couture to the streets." Follow his advice. Walk in on a whim, pick out your trimmings, and strut out onto Fifth Avenue in the ultimate white button down.
Through Feb. 28, 693 Fifth Avenue.
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