Valentino explored what it means to be a man for Fall/Winter 2024

Valentino explored what it means to be a man for Fall/Winter 2024

3 min

For the Fall/Winter 2024 Valentino show, Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli stripped menswear down to its bare bones, to examine what it really means to be a man. 

Titled “Le Ciel,” French for “The Sky,” the Italian Maison’s latest collection explores masculinity, by blending the traditional and modern. And to present a collection for the modern man, it is only fitting that the attendance reflects that – and it did. Zayn Malik, Raul, and Louis Powell were among the few that made up the front row.

The collection started with a series of black and white outfits – two-piece suits, large overcoats and trench coats – signalling a timeless style code which, only with just a few tweaks, has remained a key sartorial representation of the masculine for centuries on end.

Despite the offering being visually classic, Valentino’s designs put a twist on them. On some, unnecessary seams and zippers were removed while a lack of pocket got rid of any distractions from the one wearing the clothing: the man. On others, unconventional design such as a double lapel jacket creates a new dialogue on said man.

The collection progressed into a series of more laid-back looks, the kinds you would see on your modern man, casually walking through Knightsbrigde in a hoodie. Again, the hoodies were created in their simplest form, visually, on one hand for viewers to draw their attention to the high-quality craftsmanship.

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On the other, Valentino changed up the masculine display, stripping garments of unnecessary additions, as a metaphor for getting rid of our old ways, then adding new elements to inform a new era. Masculinity is an idea that has drastically changed, even within the last few years, and the lack of excess design elements signals a breaking of barriers, letting a wall down to invite vulnerability to take over.

Progressively, colours were introduced into the collection. At first, it was subtle – the outfit remained neutral-toned but paired with a colourful accessory or a colourful high-neck collar peeked out from the layers of darkness. Just like any evolution of a societal construct, it’s going to take time.

Eventually though, colours took over, notably in a shiny red jacket that was a favourite among the crowd. A denim two-piece also became one to marvel at, with the jacket’s hood standing still and the whole outfit seeming to float on the model’s body. Then, a beaded turquoise open-collar shirt came out, making full use of its attention.

Piccioli has seen first-hand how masculinity has changed over the years and in turn how its fashion has changed, having been at Valentino for over 15 years. This collection was used as his own way to interpret that change, as seen through his Valentino Altorilievo sculptural technique to “open windows into the clothes,” by reinventing the way shoulders are designed. It’s a sign of style just as it is of subversion.

There’s a new dawn of masculinity and Valentino is here to dress it.

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