According to the press release, Valentino was aiming his fall menswear at "the perfect metrosexual, an international urban narcissist." There are, presumably, males who would be thrilled to be thus categorized, but the stereotyping sold the actual clothes themselves a little short. What Valentino excels at in his work for both women and men is old world glamour. With their slicked back hair and their big, luxurious outfits, his models looked like they were headed for a go-see with Hurrell or Horst. As that release pointed out, Val doesn't "do" casual. He may well have opened with a boy in a military cap, t-shirt and jeans but the navy double-breasted coat slung over top was alpaca. The parka that followed was silk, its hood trimmed in black beaver.

Brown, the color of Fall '05, appeared in every shade from beige to bitter chocolate in fabrics that begged to be touched: try a camel cashmere turtleneck over brown suede trousers under an alpaca coat. Still, Valentino didn't neglect the dressed-up monochrome sharpness that is so much a part of his classic-Hollywood vision of men: more than a quarter of the collection was black and white eveningwear. There were surprises—he showed a black suede safari jacket as part of this group, along with a waxed trench coat—but you just know that Val's heart was in the wool tux with the fur-collared cashmere coat that sealed the deal.