Tailoring holds more layers of meaning than it does pieces of thread. A garment dictated by stereotype, the suit is a historic icon of masculinity; a symbol of status. Which is exactly why, for its Fall/Winter 2023-24 collection, Valentino set out to revolutionise the suit.
In a show titled ‘Valentino Black Tie’ which reinterpreted the symbol of the suit and tie, the Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli restructured the classic silhouette for the modern day. Subverting the themes of tradition, conformity, and uniformity, Valentino Black Tie was a collection that broke gender norms, challenged perceptions, and was unapologetically modern.
INTRODUCING THE VALENTIE
One of the biggest icons of the collection was undoubtedly the tie; a classic symbol of power, status, and tradition reinterpreted by Valentino to represent something completely different. Loosened and elevated, appearing in a spectrum of new and iconic iterations, from on simple shirts to an elaborate tie-dress, the ValenTie was symbolic of aesthetic freedom and a relaxation of uniformity. The Maison essentially added a playful, personable, and punk aesthetic to an accessory we normally associate with rigid formality; not an easy feat but one the brand pulled off with ease.
VIVA VALENTINO GARAVANI ROCKSTUD
The Valentino Garavani Rockstud world – the easily recognisable icon of the brand we’ve all seen before – has been resurrected for Fall/Winter 2023, more than 10 years on from its first launch. The square silver hardware, which was dotted throughout the collection on Valentino Garavani accessories from bags and shoes, evoked the merging of romantic and punk attitudes, expressing both the themes of power and relevance. Seen on staple pumps and leather clutch bags, the studs add a bold and refined edge which contrasts with the tailoring of the collection.
TAILORING TO RELAX INTO
Tailoring dominated the collection, a reinterpreting of the classic silhouette which broke conventions, challenged conformity, and did it all whilst appearing effortless. From suits to outwear and everything in between, the collection showcased both an impressive feat of tailoring as well as the liberation of the rigid form, featured in exaggerated proportions, contrasting colours, and graphic prints. In a collection which contradicted gender norms, presenting what’s called a ‘universal wardrobe’ of both womenswear and menswear, Valentino exhibited flawless iterations of tailoring, new spins on classic silhouettes, and a revolutionary take on the icon of the suit.
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES
In a trend reminiscent of Valentino’s Le Club Couture Spring/Summer 2023 collection, 3D roses appeared on an array of skirts and dresses, seen on an ultra-mini script made entirely of the flowers in a bold red hue. Contributing to the brand’s subversion of punk and romance, the floral motif added a soft element to a collection dominated by classical forms, tying into Valentino’s interpretation of a universal wardrobe.
By marrying symbols of old and new; elevated and casual; masculine and feminine; renaissance and punk; Valentino created a collection which challenged social norms as much as it utilised them. The Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli used the iconography of the most traditional silhouette – tailoring – to not only elevate a classic garment but also provide a commentary on individuality, diversity, and the brand’s own identity.
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