Valentino Spring Summer 2024 Menswear collection fashion show in Milano, Italy (June 16, 2023).
Valentino Garavani made its mark in the men's fashion world when Pierpaolo Piccioli presented his first men's collection in Milan back in 1985. Now, in a captivating return to the city, Piccioli opened Milan Men's Fashion Week with his thought-provoking "The Narratives" men's show. Held at the prestigious La Statale, Milan's public university, the event aimed to engage younger audiences and challenge traditional notions of masculinity through fashion.
Piccioli sought to break down the barriers of elitism within the fashion industry by selecting La Statale as the venue for the show. By choosing this location, he aimed to make fashion more accessible and foster discussions that could drive meaningful change. Students watching from the courtyard's loggia were not only treated to a mesmerizing fashion display but also enjoyed a live performance by rap and indie musician d4vd, adding an element of youthful energy to the event.
At a post-show press conference, Piccioli expressed his desire to challenge the prevailing notions of masculine identity. He stated that traditional signifiers of power and success had defined masculinity for far too long. In his collection, Piccioli aimed to highlight the importance of embracing vulnerability and sensitivity as true demonstrations of strength and power. To further emphasize this message, pink-hued copies of Hanya Yanagihara's novel "A Little Life" were sent out as invitations, reflecting the book's exploration of intimacy, humanity, and resilience within male characters.
The collection showcased Piccioli's delicate approach to subverting classic masculine tropes. He skillfully played with sartorial codes, reimagining boxy blazers with softened proportions, replacing trousers with short shorts and skirts, and incorporating embroidered flowers on lapels. Breezy light jackets and straight-cut shirts featured blown-up floral prints, exuding a sense of individual vitality and romantic freedom. The color palette, ranging from mint green, raspberry, turquoise, and hot pink to classic black and white, further accentuated the collection's vibrant aesthetic.
Piccioli firmly believes that fashion should convey meaningful messages on a deeper level. Therefore, choosing La Statale University as the show's venue was not merely a logistical decision but a reflection of his ethos. As a testament to this commitment, Valentino announced its sponsorship of student scholarships through a significant donation to the university. Additionally, in line with sustainable practices, runway materials from the show will be repurposed and recycled in collaboration with Milan's Spazio META, a company specializing in the recovery of used materials. Furthermore, as a symbol of sustainability, an oak tree will be planted in Milan's public gardens of Porta Venezia, completing the circle of responsible practices embraced by Piccioli and Valentino.
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