Earlier today I watched Valentino's menswear collection for the Spring/Summer season live, from the modest comfort of my bedroom floor. I use fashion shows as an escape, a mode of free transportation from my otherwise uneventful teenage life. Runway reviews are just the byproducts of what the clothes, set, and music all work together to combine - a world based off a woman, whether her world be one of fictional frivolities or social justice. Without that element of engulfment, fashion shows exist rather pointless today. What's the point of all that money and effort if the message told by the clothes could just as easily be conveyed hanging on a rack in a showroom? That was the only question I was left with by the end of 50 look collection, created, or rather curated is more fitting, by the brilliant duo that is Pier Palo Piccoli and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
The clothes themselves were modern, agreeable, and, most importantly, salable, which together create a sure homerun in the ever-changing menswear market. Traditionally masculine motifs such as smart shoes, trousers, and camo, were updated to fit a modern man, with a cropped hem here, a slightly transparent polo there. Altogether, the collection was pleasant enough, but paled when compared to the womenswear work from Valentino. This stark contrast is to be expected due to the fact that menswear is traditionally less adventurous than womenswear, but while this is the case, it is no excuse for, put bluntly, a boring fashion show. There was no excitement or transportation; I firmly believe that the clothes would have been presented just as well if they were hanging on a rack rather than marching down the runway on solemn white boys.
As I'm sure you can tell by now, in this runway review I am not criticizing the clothes, but rather questioning the effectiveness of the way in which they were presented. Presentation may seem like a minor detail compared to the actual clothes, but at the end of the day I will remember this Valentino collection for how boring the show was, not the (admittedly also rather boring but still highly salable) clothes. Fashion just moves too quickly for one to remember more than impressions.