Mood board: ‘The meaning of romanticism today is different,’ the notes to Pierpaolo Piccioli’s A/W 20 menswear show began. His deference for opulence and glamour, best seen in his beautiful womenswear couture shows, spilled into his menswear offering too. There has been a consistent reassessment of masculinity in the past few days of the new decade. Piccioli wanted to revive a certain romanticism through menswear cut. The look was fluid, suiting open at the sides, the line languid and quiet.
Finishing touches: The collection focused on tailoring as, the notes suggested, ‘masculine metaphors’. In Milan, designers seemed obsessed with scrubbing out the dictums of gendered fashion, several posing the question: ‘what makes a man today?’ At Zenga it was about an opening of discussion and emotion; at Ferragamo it was in the adaptability of the clothes – the autonomy of the wearer. At Valentino the question inspired a traditional and romantic respectability. The show started with black and moved into orange, grey, berry – colours derived from flora. A fluid purple blazer showed flashes of lime green shirting underneath. Flowers ran across the back of shoulders.
Team work: The floral motifs printed, appliquéd and knitted onto the clothes were taken from the archives of photographers Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. The words of French artist Mélanie Matranga, inspired by her fabric haikus, were magnified all over: NEED NEED featured on a V-neck tabard, BAD LOVER on the front of a double-breasted jacket and collaged onto washed denim suiting. The British artist FKA Twigs sang live.
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London based writer Dal Chodha is editor-in-chief of Archivist Addendum — a publishing project that explores the gap between fashion editorial and academe. He writes for various international titles and journals on fashion, art and culture and is a contributing editor at Wallpaper*. Chodha has been working in academic institutions for more than a decade and is Stage 1 Leader of the BA Fashion Communication and Promotion course at Central Saint Martins. In 2020 he published his first book SHOW NOTES, an original hybrid of journalism, poetry and provocation.
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