The “King of Pants” himself, New York designer Alvin Valley, dropped by the W Chicago on Lakeshore April 18th for a superb luncheon, fashion show and trunk show. The event (which benefited the Heartland Animal Shelter) was co-hosted by "Valley Girls" Susu Block, Kate Fitzgerald and Jennifer Kasten, allowed local fashionistas a firsthand view of his new fall collection. "My fall 2006 collection was inspired by London late 60's as well by Julie Christie in Shampoo. I was mesmerized by her hair and sexiness. Lots of texture combinations from wools, cashmeres and marabou feathers. I was really trying to achieve the contrasts of heavy, rustic, lightness and fluidity," explained Alvin Valley.
Valley has been traveling the globe and was even invited by the government to do a fashion show with top designers such as Carolina Herrera and Ellie Saab on March 31st in Mexico. The line displays his master tailoring skills with chic suits and ultra feminine dresses that take on a vintage mystique. Inspired by a very tailored English look, this collection encompasses New York attitude with a masculine, yet wearable feel. His Latin roots is something that is always an inspiration, however. "Well I was lucky enough to be born into a latin family. I feel that the Latin woman is inherently sensual, and there is no shame in that. They know how to mix power with sexuality.
I lived with my aunt for a long part of my childhood, and her closet was through my bedroom, and it was incredible to see her get dressed every morning at 6 am. It was a ritual of sorts. But the through the coarse of the day she would do business with such power and confidence. It was incredible to see a woman transform herself. I think that is my strongest impression of fashion," says Valley.
Sheer floral-patterned blouses and bouncy nautical inspired gauchos from the spring collection were also on hand for buyers to examine. We love the turquoise and tan tweed gauchos with four-buttons adorning the split at the sides along the bottom. Unlike the ruffles and waistband focus in the spring collection, the new fall pieces consist of exquisite beading (done in India) and silken wools. Think lots of delicate chiffon, jackets with classic detailing, light to heavy cashmeres and the classic Alvin Valley tailored pants.
We love the versatile cashmere wraps that come in black, pastel blue, tan and cream, as well as the low-back dresses (think Hillary Swank’s midnight blue 2005 Academy Awards dress by Guy Laroche) that have intricate bead work around high collars. The khaki trench coat shrugs are a brilliant and unique addition to the collection while long wool A-line skirts with top stitched detail mix up the corporate feel.
Valley counts jet setters and celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone and Cameron Diaz, among his devoted clientele. Style Director, Alexandra Lind Rose, said that stars such as Kate Winslet and Paula Abdul even order his pieces by the bulk. "I love all types of women in my clothes. Most people are fascinated when I dress high profile women such as Cameron Diaz, Sharon Stone, Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow. But who I really get inspired by is the every day woman. I love to see my clothes on the street. I am about dressing every woman, however I know that might be almost impossible. I don't make clothes just for gallery openings," adds Valley.
While Alvin Valley’s collection can be found at his private New York showroom and in over 250 select stores nationwide, you can also find pieces at www.shopbop.com. Look for his new store opening in New York around October. Call 212.253.0095 for more sales information or visit www.Alvinvalley.com
What are his future aspirations? "To conquer the world," he tells us...We think you already have.
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