Alessandro Michele Surprises, Unveiling First Designs for Valentino in Resort Collection

In an unexpected move, Alessandro Michele has decided to share his first designs for Valentino months before the scheduled debut collection for spring 2025.  What was not unexpected was his enduring passion for fashion and enthusiasm for the brand during a one-hour long Zoom call from Rome on Sunday.

“This is a magic location, and from the very first day I felt something special had happened, there was a chemical reaction,” said Michele of his approach to the house and discovering the archives of designs by founder Valentino Garavani.

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While confirming that his first fashion show for the Rome-based brand will be in Paris on Sept. 29, he said he “instinctively decided” that his women’s and men’s 2025 resort collections needed to be seen before they hit stores in October and will be unveiled Monday.

Michele joined Valentino on April 2 and it is obvious by the look book he presented for resort that he didn’t waste a day, as the 171 images were carefully curated, and he also provided an additional look book dedicated to the accessories. The designer praised his team that worked “with much love and without looking at the watch, lost in the archives, as orchestra players tuning their instruments. It all happened very naturally and I felt it was only fair to pay tribute to their work; it was against nature to keep the collection under wraps.”

Valentino by Alessandro Michele Resort 2025 Ready-to-Wear Collection
Valentino by Alessandro Michele Resort 2025 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Michele reiterated a few times that he had been “seduced” by the house, by Garavani, and the “marvelous quantity of objects in the archives. I love objects, I have an intimate relationship with material things, it’s almost like a religious meeting and I feel a great privilege to be able to touch his designs, as if they were a relic part of his life. I fell in love with this house that became my home  and this is only the beginning as this place is as deep as the ocean. Valentino’s world has nothing to do with marketing or a PR machine. He was this house, that world, that life, so strong and powerful, it’s impossible not to be seduced. He’s a constant presence, his clothes speak of him. The people he met and his life are pure mythology. The rugs, the Chinese vases, the beautiful things he surrounded himself with conditioned his designs. He amplified beauty. I share the same kind of relationship with fashion as a great vehicle for freedom.”

Valentino by Alessandro Michele Resort 2025 Ready-to-Wear Collection
Valentino by Alessandro Michele Resort 2025 Ready-to-Wear Collection

In the beautiful and comprehensive lineup for resort, there are echoes of the ’70s and ’80s, “an extraordinary moment to investigate, as [Garavani] did not give in to hedonism, he stayed away from the oversized shoulders.” As for the ’70s reference, “those are the hippie chic years, and that’s how he dressed, a belt on the polo, exploring his feminine side.”

Michele made references to the “many ruffles, details and complex looks [Garavani] designed, even when they were minimal.” This is all in sync with Michele’s own aesthetic, hence, for women, the line included skirts and blouses with pleats and ruffles; a duster coat with an intricate batik-like motif; an embroidered floral minidress; sequined cuffs and collars on a tweed suit, and a shrunken red sweater with tiny bows.

There was one coat in red — the brand’s signature color — but Michele here referenced Garavani’s storied all-white couture collection for 1968 with several looks in different shades of white, cream and off-white, including, for example, a kimono-like jacket and pants combo for men, seen also with an intricate paisley motif.  The cuffs on pants often came with decorations and geometric designs.

Michele worked with the V logo on allover patterns on coats and suits, and introduced a Chez Valentino Rome/Paris logo on tops. Strands of pearls — a reference to the 1950s, he said; oversized earrings, and floral brooches added layers to the looks. Michele has a knack for accessories, and they did not disappoint, spanning from embroidered clutches to crocodile ladylike purses, fringed suede satchels, pumps with bows and cork platform sneakers.

He continued to develop his own idea of masculinity, “the one I am interested in without any political message,” which comes naturally to him and which he’s displayed ever since the very first pussy-bow blouse he put on a man for his first Gucci collection in 2015, blurring the gender boundaries also at Valentino. “It’s a process that will not and can’t stop,” he said. His goal was “to create a wardrobe, not an image,” and to celebrate the artisans and seamstresses whose level of execution he never saw before. “I can ask impossible things all the time,” he marveled. “I feel like I’m sitting on a gold mine.”

Indeed, while he said he couldn’t wait to approach the “absolutely new couture experience” — admitting both some impatience and also a bit of concern, given it’s the first time for him — the collection included some intricately embellished, embroidered and sequined gowns that would not look out of place in a couture lineup — and will likely attract his A-list friends and red carpet celebrities from his recent past.

Valentino by Alessandro Michele Resort 2025 Ready-to-Wear Collection
Valentino by Alessandro Michele Resort 2025 Ready-to-Wear Collection

He spoke highly of chief executive officer Jacopo Venturini, with whom he worked before at Gucci, whose aim from Day One was to underscore that this is a maison with a foundation in the couture. “I agree with him entirely, I don’t like to call this a company. I feel I am living a very happy professional moment.”

Back at work after leaving Gucci in November 2022, he said that he enjoyed the freedom to spend more time with his family, but he realized that  “freedom is also to do what you love. I chose this job because it’s part of me, and to not do what you love means you are not free. I found myself again through work.”

For more resort 2025 reviews, click here.

Launch Gallery: First Look at Alessandro Michele’s Debut Collection for Valentino

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