Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli On Pedro Pascal’s Shorts—and the Modern Man


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At Friday’s Valentino menswear show, 40 of the 56 looks included shorts or skirts. Had creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli learned a thing or two from Pedro Pascal at the Met Gala, who broke the internet in his Valentino boyshorts? “I think that Pedro wearing the shorts was nothing so new, fashion-wise,” Piccioli said following the “Valentino Narratives” show, held in a sundrenched, student-filled quad (or Renaissance courtyard, more accurately) at the University of Milan. But it was a very modern style flex. “Having a man of 48 aware of himself, wearing shorts on an official red carpet, it gave a sort of viral vibe…There’s one box of machismo, one box of fanciness, and I think you can be both.” Pascal, in other words, had found power in sensitivity. As had Euphoria actor Jacob Elordi, who wore a similar thigh-flashing getup in the front row.

Valentino last held a standalone men’s runway show three years ago. In that time, the battle lines in the debate over gender and masculinity have been drawn and redrawn several times over (in America, at least). Piccioli, clearly, wanted to make the most of his return. “The men’s project has always been important to me,” he said. “I want to celebrate the peculiar work done on the codes of tailoring and the demystification of masculinity going back on the catwalk, an unconventional one. These have been years of merge and intentional turmoil, now we have a synthesis to look at.”

Piccioli was thinking, he explained backstage, about A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara’s 2015 bestselling bildungsroman. Previously, the book’s main contribution to fashion was those graphic T-shirts listing the names of the four male protagonists whose triumphs and sufferings begin when they move to New York from their New England college, and which play out across some 700 pages. (You know the tee: Jude&JB&Willem&Malcolm.) Guests were invited with custom copies of the book. (Yanagihara, now the editor-in-chief of T Magazine, told me that she was surprised but flattered by the whole thing.)

Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli On Pedro Pascal’s Shorts—and the Modern Man

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