clos-ette case: Alvin Valley

Posted on August 27, 2012 by Melanie Charlton

No ifs, ands or butts about it: pants that flatter your figure aren’t just wardrobe staple –they’re a life enhancer. Yet all too often, finding the perfect pair can be a hopeless and exhausting odyssey. That’s why we regard Alvin Valley with the sort of devotion normally reserved for family members and other loved ones: the man can cut a mean pair of pants. And praise be to the fashion gods, he’s relaunching his cult-favorite line just in time for fall shopping season. Here, we check in with the ever-dapper Valley to chat perfect pinstripes, burgeoning bowtie collections, and more. 

clos-ette case: Alvin Valley
Alvin Valley's celebrity dream closet

What is your personal fashion trademark?

For day, easy classics –Scottish tweeds worked with army jackets. For evening, I love a peak lapel tuxedo.

What can you never have too many of?

Shoes, tuxedos, and bowties.  I have a trunk that holds all my bowties, and always get excited when I have to go in and choose. Depending on my mood or season, I love black satin by Turnbull & Asser, velvet by Lanvin, skinny bowties by Band of Outsiders or fat ones by Tom Ford, and also vintage YSL.  

What do you splurge on?

Shoes are a passion for me. I have many styles and closets full of them: brogues such as Harry’s of London, Bottega Veneta, YSL, O’Keeffe, and Grenson; Derby styles by Gucci and Lanvin; and loafers by Acne, YSL, Gucci, and Botega Veneta. My favorites are my croc loafers by Bottega. I’ve had them for a few seasons and I wear them only sporadically. It was a splurge...

What’s at the top of your shopping wish list right now?

A peak shoulder pinstripe blazer by Lanvin.  I love the cut of the sleeve with a bit of volume at the shoulder, giving me a very small waist. And the pinstripe is just perfect.

wooden hangers in Alvin Valley's celebrity dream closet

What’s the most embarrassing thing in your closet?

Nothing, As soon as I’m embarrassed I get rid of it. Every season, I try to edit things that no longer work for my body or my age. I end up selling them to INA, a re-sale boutique in NYC. 

Whose closet would you like to raid?

Cary Grant’s and Matthew Mellon’s. Grant developed a subdued, monochromatic aesthetic where the focus was on fit and proportion rather than quirky color, which is one of my beliefs when designing a collection as well as wearing clothes. The lines of his suits, shirts and shoes all blended together in harmony to draw your eye to the real moneymaker: his movie-star face. He often wore shirt collars turned up to disguise his neck, and his suits and topcoats were tailored with padded shoulders that were wide-set and squared-off to match the proportion of his massive mug. Turning flaws into fashion: that’s what sets Grant apart from everyone else.

And Matthew?

When I think of Matthew I think of impeccable style, quiet charm and a little air of mystery. His approach is like a smoky jazz song: comfortable, calm, self-confident and immaculately executed, with a nod to the naughty –especially when he wears his Richard James tailored suits, or Dior Homme. Those qualities translates through his personal style, through the sharp elegance of his suits and the gentle precision that goes into every detail. 

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