Romantic, couture-worthy lace dresses and kaleidoscopic-hued studded pumps are to Valentino what deconstructed tailoring and tabi boots are to Margiela – signatures that perfectly sum up each brand’s DNA. In stores this month, the Italian label’s “Untitled” collection, however, joins the gender-neutral wave that’s sweeping through fashion, devoid of embellishments or girlishness. In fact, it could be the brand at its most intellectual yet.
Its first attempt at unisex dressing, the line is made up of 12 gender-ambiguous styles ($1,040-$8,200) that form a capsule wardrobe. Each design (including a crew-neck sweater, trenchcoat, straight-cut jeans and even white sneakers) is relaxed and modern, meant to make everyday dressing effortlessly cool.
Adding to the cool factor is how each product type is numbered one to 12 (one, for example, is the trench; five, the white shirt), with selected styles like the jeans and tee packaged in unassuming canvas satchels. If it all seems a little conceptual, it’s because creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which celebrates simplicity and imperfections.
That’s not to say that the collection loses the Valentino touch. Instead of seams, certain styles, like the biker, field jacket and sweater, boast the brand’s trademark Rockstud studs.