In a spectacular display of sartorial artistry, the new Valentino menswear collection, aptly named Le Ciel, unfolded against the backdrop of evolving masculine ideals. Pierpaolo Piccioli orchestrated a breathtaking journey through the changing hues of the sky, redefining the very architecture of modern masculinity – in a historical moment when the collective discourses are shifting, notably in Italy, with a series of political and social debates around the issue.
Toying with convention and fragility, Piccioli thrust blue, previously associated with femininity, into the limelight. Recognising its evolution as the identifying colour of the male gender, the collection seamlessly integrated blue into the fabric of masculinity. Each ensemble served as a canvas, subverting traditional norms with cleverly juxtaposed vibrant hues that challenged the expected.
As the show unfolded, a rich tapestry of colours emerged, from delicate pastels to intense burgundies. Piccioli masterfully played with contrasts, pairing muted lilacs with deep reds, creating looks that transcended the ordinary. The use of colour became a powerful tool, not merely for aesthetic appeal but as a vehicle for expressing the complexities of modern masculinity.
Valentino’s Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear collection wasn’t just about colour; it was a celebration of meticulous craftsmanship. Turtlenecks peeked out from behind tailored silhouettes, unexpected sparkles took centre stage on Harrington jackets, and the “Altorilievo” technique, introduced in the last womenswear collection, found new life in stunning details.
In a deliberate move to challenge the complexities of modern masculinity, Piccioli placed a clear emphasis on subverting suiting norms. Each ensemble became a statement, defying traditional expectations while offering a fresh perspective on what it meant to be masculine in that era – an unparalleled savoir-faire, incorporating details that remind couture, sews sensibility and emotion into the very fabric of the collection.
In Le Ciel, Pierpaolo Piccioli once again proved himself as a maestro of fashion, using colour as his brush to paint a new narrative of masculinity that was as diverse and vibrant as the sky itself. The Valentino menswear show wasn’t just a runway display but a cultural conversation, inviting us to reconsider and celebrate the ever-changing hues of identity and style.
Discover the Valentino collection here.
words. Patrick Clark