June 29, 2004
It was his vacation in Thailand that inspired Valentino, but anyone would think he'd been on safari at some postmodern game park, from the animals that shed their skins for his collection. Ostrich, kangaroo, buffalo, pony, and crocodile were reincarnated as trench and pea coats, bush jackets, trousers, and shoes. The designer touched on the major directions of the new seasonan army-green cotton suit covered a couple of bases, and his sky-blue florals embraced color and printbut he handled them in his own elegantly dressy way. His military men were definitely straight from the officer's messan epauletted shirt in chocolate brown was bandbox smart; the pink cotton canvas trousers that accompanied it quite clearly not your average GI's jeans. And there was a certain errant confidence in what probably passes for black tie in Phuket: blue cotton blazer, black mohair trousers, croc loafers. No socks, natch.