Valentino and Capri go together like Campari and soda, and, this season, the designer honored that simple truth with a show inspired by his memories of the Blue Island. More specifically, the program notes referenced the gorgeous-but-penniless young men who, in the '70s, used their looks "to conquer all hearts" on the island. As Valentino remembered them on his boardwalk of a runway, these professional heartbreakers (let's not call them gigolos) must have been the best-dressed men in the Med.
Characteristically, Valentino's summer was a dressy affairthink double-breasted seersucker suits or madras shantung jackets or lilac suede shortsbut there was a fresh, light touch to the clothes that felt new. The pale color schemevanilla, pink, blue, yellow, pistachio, dove grayhelped temper the formality of precisely tailored three-button suits. Then there were the playful surprises: a safari jacket in gingham or fiery red, a summer trench in checked shantung. Fine cashmere knits were embroidered with Deco-ish motifs that recalled the Cotton Club (Valentino apparently remembers a dancer on Capri who decked herself out in bananas à la Josephine Baker). And at night, the designer imagined his jeunesse dorée setting out to seduce in a cream-silk, cotton-shantung tuxedo.