Held in Milan’s Statale University courtyard, Valentino‘s creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, unveiled his Spring/Summer 2024 menswear collection that challenges traditional norms and embraces the freedom of individual expression.
Piccioli’s vision is clear: he wants to leave “traditional machismo” behind. However, he is not advocating for an “aesthetic dictatorship.” Instead, he is pushing for a redefinition of masculinity that does not conform to societal norms or the perfection often associated with success. “It’s very important to me to redefine the masculine identity,” Piccioli stated, emphasizing the importance of freedom and resilience, even when it involves showing some fragility.
The Valentino Spring/Summer 2024 collection is a testament to this vision. It features traditional menswear codes, but with a twist. The Valentino man is confident, unafraid to don a flowing silk coat adorned with a floral pattern or an emerald green jacket embroidered with flowers and sequins. Pink is no longer a taboo, and a skirt worn under a perfectly tailored blazer is a statement of individuality, not a provocation.
Piccioli’s designs are anchored in the traditional rules of tailoring, once a symbol of power and success, but rendered contemporary. He has been questioning conventions with his designs, shifting the brand from a concept of lifestyle to that of a community. The collection features shorter pants or skirts, expressing individuality and challenging the traditional norms of menswear.
The designer’s creativity shines through in the details. An embroidered flower can replace a tie, or when placed on a buttonhole, it harks back to a gentleman’s etiquette of yore. The collection’s palette is vibrant, with azure and burgundy combinations, and the layering and juxtaposition of different colors have been perfected by Piccioli.
The collection also features shorts and skirts, breezy silk tops, and baggy pants, perfect for a hot summer day. The models showcased these designs on a white platform to a live performance of D4vd, under the scorching sun in the courtyard of the storied institution.
Piccioli’s inspiration for the collection also comes from literature. With the invitation to the show, he sent out a book by Hanya Yanagihara, “A Little Life,” and he incorporated quotes from the author on a black blazer and a denim coat. One quote, in particular, read, “We are so old, we have become young again.” This sentiment resonates with Piccioli’s belief that “the past can be part of the present.“
The Valentino Spring/Summer 2024 collection is a bold statement, a conversation starter, and a challenge to traditional norms. As Piccioli concluded, “I realize not everybody will understand my style, but that’s cool. It would be too easy otherwise, and I like to stir the conversation.” And stir the conversation he certainly has, with a collection that is as thought-provoking as it is stylish.
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