Sex appears to be forever at the epicentre of fashion. However, the conversation surrounding it is beginning to change. Along with titillation, there is now affirmation; choice in sex, in gender, in style.
Valentino is furthering fashion’s trend toward gender-neutral designs with its 12-piece capsule collection, Rockstud Untitled. The unisex line is a futuristic diagnosis of fashion, yet void of sci-fi reference. Contemporary basics such as the crewneck sweatshirt, plain white tee, and trench coat are re-imagined by Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. A uniform aesthetic features prominently, the utilitarian aspects further driven home by a neutral colour palette. Defining the look are Valentino’s recognizable studs that run along seamlines, connecting and distinguishing the sparse collection. The metal details reference kintsugi, a technique used in Japanese pottery that mends cracks and breaks with gold powder. The embellishments work to elevate streetwear as luxury without compromising the message of accessibility.
Chiuri and Piccioli called upon Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft to produce a visual interpretation of the collection, entitled VB_Valentino_Untitled_01. The piece is a continuation of iconic work for Beecroft, who is now perhaps most famous for her many collaborations with Kanye West. In this performance, the models (including actress Emily Mortimer) stand at blank, still attention, referencing the military uniformity of the collection. However, as time elapses, the characteristics of the performers become more and more apparent. Each person is dressed similarly and postured the same, yet appears as an individual. It is a powerful message of diversity, clothed in homogeneity. Fashion, it seems, is more than just the clothes we choose to wear.
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