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Alessandro Michele‘s Valentino has arrived. Ahead of his catwalk debut on September 29, which will take place in Paris, the designer has dropped a surprise resort 2025 collection. An expansive array of 171 looks – with an additional look book dedicated to the accessories like oversized earrings, floral brooches, embroidered clutches, fringed suede satchels, bow-adorned pumps and cork platform sneakers – the clothes echo those of the ’70s and ’80s, in sync with Michele’s own aesthetic which triumphed in his work at Gucci, but in a way that feels expressly Valentino. Pulling inspiration from the personal wardrobe of the house’s founder, Mr Garavani, who, “did not give in to hedonism” and “stayed away from the oversized shoulders”, ensembles are sophisticated yet playful with an air of bourgeois. As for the ’70s reference, Michele said “those are the hippie chic years, and that’s how he dressed, a belt on the polo, exploring his feminine side.”

Michele also referenced storied Valentino collections completed by Garavani; namely, his all-white couture collection for 1968. A kimono-like jacket and trousers combo was bedecked by and intricate paisley print while other pieces – tiered maxi skirts, Peter Pan-collar frocks, and evening suits – came in varying shades of white, cream and off-white. The “many ruffles, details and complex looks [that Garavani] designed, even when they were minimal” came through in the womenswear especially, across delicate skirts, blouses and sun dresses, blurring gender boundaries at Valentino just as he did at Gucci.

The Italian designer also worked with the all-over V logo so loved by the brand’s customer base, applying it to precise tailored shorts and lady’s coats and knitted vests, whilst also introducing a brand new Chez Valentino Rome/Paris logo which appeared on crew neck tops. Intricate embroidered or sequinned embellishments danced across couture-esque gowns perfect for Michele’s cohort of red carpet celebs, in turn celebrating the artisans and seamstresses level of expert savoir fair he’s never seen before. “I feel like I’m sitting on a gold mine,” he said.

Speaking to press in an impromptu Zoom call earlier this week, Michele said he was inspired by the “magical treasures” of the house’s archive, fusing his own maximalist vision with the rich DNA of the house. Throughout there is a strong focus on bags and shoes, with Michele charging forward with a “Roman sense of opulence” that was threaded through Valentino Garavani’s work throughout his career. Swipe through the above gallery to see the collection.