Paris Men’s Fashion Week Highlight F/W 2020 Part 1
It was tricky to get from Milan to Paris to make the Ami show. We failed so here we start our coverage with Valentino’s emotional (wo)manhood moment.
Lately, we’ve had many discussions with fellow editors to determine who actually drives men’s fashion forward in a moment when logo driven merchandise thrives. Three names come up consistently: Rick Owens, Dries van Noten and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino. Valentino’s show at the Grand Palais with a powerful live performance by FKA Twigs firmly cemented Piccioli’s status as one of the most directional designers in the world at the moment with regard to his clothes but also the now so important storytelling and connecting with the Zeitgeist. Whether doing an Haute Couture show dedicated to black beauty, pioneering the fusion of Haute Couture with street wear or dedicating this latest men’s show to the struggle of womanhood. By inviting Twigs, who had the best album of 2019 called Magdalene which blended ideas from hip hop, R&B, industrial and choral music to transport her message of empowered females, Piccioli showed timely empathy.
Helping to acknowledge the fact that survival – as women throughout history have experienced – can be a solo endeavor. So at his men’s show, Piccioli had the gentility to let Twigs open with her song Mary Magdalene which has the following lyrics: “A woman’s work, a woman’s prerogative, a woman’s time to embrace, she must put herself first.” Clearly standing by empowered women in attitude, Piccioli’s clothes were less high concept: Beautiful tailoring, hand painted jackets and bags, his signature camouflage pattern in devore coats and wonderful coated shearlings.
“I simply wanted to make clothes that you wear when you go to a concert like this,” explained Piccioli backstage. The silhouette was full and long with calf length coats worn loosely over jackets, often painted with floral motives.
Using mostly black wool, a color he prefers for himself, Piccioli lit up his color palette with flashy orange and bright white. One of our favorite looks was a generously cut double-breasted suit in chestnut brown worn with a sling bag in hand. Let’s note, Valentino has created the trend of the logo sling bag worn across the chest a few seasons ago, which is ubiquitous on all runways now and street style.