A video of the Valentino fashion show for SS24 in Milan.
Valentino: Changing the masculine wardrobe staples to change the concept of masculinity itself
Milan Men’s Fashion Week SS24 season opened with Valentino‘s comeback in the principle of lightness.
What changes here are the cuts, the volumes, the inner structure of the masculine suit itself, alongside the manners to represent it. Pierpaolo Piccioli overturns the classic tailoring rules, looking both at the past and at the future, in order to convey a sense of freedom.
That is freedom, in a physical sense, in the shirts and the jackets which do not mark the waist nor compel the body, but which are shaped into airy, simplified volumes, easing movement and adapting to increasingly warmer weather.
But also freedom from social convictions that strengthened through time, to redefine a new idea of masculinity conformed to the present day.
Here stands the modernity and the avant-gardist character of Piccioli’s fashion: by indulging the changing times, he managed to shape its fashion into new forms of expressions, and to respond to new emerging needs.
The result is essential tailoring, sometimes unexpected in menswear so that it is able to astonish us, or even disturb the most conservative minds: intarsia flowers are nestled into a sartorial jacket or applied on the lapel; pant skirts and Bermuda shorts are worn with a tie and overcoats winking at the ’80s. A denim suit was repaired with gold with the Japanese technique Kintsugi; and again, the most vivid hues were used in a play of colors, such as fuchsia, coral red and burgundy in total looks, alongside maxi flower prints.
Why fashion should be changed, though? Fashion needs to be changed as an attempt to change toxic masculinity that has been imbuing culture – and clothing – in time. That of Piccioli is a kind of diversity intended to awaken “the awareness that true power in men today is to be free to display their own vulnerability“.
Also and especially, this can be possible through a different way of dressing, able to encourage debate and then – hopefully – to foster real changes.
1017 Alyx 9SM: Modern tailoring is about cultural contamination
A different tailoring tale is enacted by Matthew M. Williams for his brand 1017 Alyx 9SM, offering us a creative contamination process between traditional craftsmanship techniques and underground music, ranging from hardcore to grunge. For example, checks are paired with wide jeans; the hoodie is reinterpreted in countless ways – such as in velvet, in leather, and even knitted -; the tailored suit is sullied by some cargo pockets applied on the sleeves; bleached denim with an intentional worn effect is used to create tops, jeans and coats.
The tailored wardrobe staples are downplayed by urban street and workwear influence, while the latter is being elevated through textile treatments that distinguish Williams’ modus operandi. By being contaminated by external changes, this fashion item is also projected into the future as it is exposed to constant evolution.
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