In the winter of 2018, Undercover’s Jun Takahashi and Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli met in Tokyo — where Valentino was staging a show — and decided to embark on a collaboration after both parties remarked on their long-standing affinity for each other's work.
Takahashi and his label Undercover are both revered for their punk spirit and for championing an aesthetic that is ambiguous yet distinct, characterised by a mix of chaos, rebellion, resolve, fragility, and humour. Piccioli, on the other hand, took over as maison Valentino’s sole creative director in 2016 and has since been warmly celebrated for rerouting the perception of couture as démodé and somewhat esoteric into a contemporary form of expression by balancing the tradition and grandeur of couture with a sense of lightness, romance and fun.
On their own, both designers embody a sense of emotive theatricality with their collections, albeit in their own unique vernacular. Together, the two have produced a collaborative collection where heritage meets innovation; chaos meets couture; and the classic and the rebellious collide; a collection which could also be thought of as what Piccioli describes as “a social experiment!” (exclamation point included in the original article on Vogue, demonstrating the designer’s enthusiasm).
The Undercover x Valentino collection features a melange of icons from art, film, music and literature — a trope in all of Takashi’s collections — with flying saucers, Beethoven, The Clockwork Orange and Edgar Alan Poe as the icons of this collection, designed by Takahashi and spun on both his own silhouettes, as well as Piccioli’s louche Italian tailoring.
Discover the Undercover x Valentino Autumn/Winter 2019 Men's Collection in full, now available in-store at Club21 Forum, Club 21 X PLAY Comme des Garçons MBS and Club 21 Pop-up at #01-19/20 Hilton Hotel Singapore.