Valette Studio Men’s Spring 2023

Picking up where he left off last season, Pierre-François Valette took his characters from Andy Warhol’s Factory to Capri and the surrounding Italian coast, with actor and 1970s sex symbol Joe Dallesandro as muse for the season.

“I wanted to be more relaxed, with details that make [the shapes] easier to live in — in a word, cooler,” said the designer, pointing out other details like elasticated cuffs on a zippered blouson cut from shirting, or the denim cuffs and pockets on drawstring trousers.

If the overall outlook is more casual, Valette’s penchant for tailoring was omnipresent. Singlets were cut from poplin. Shirts turned into body-conscious tops. A denim spencer jacket was offered without sleeves and was one of many options to compose a rather chic summer version of a Canadian tuxedo. Even terry cloth was made into comfortable-looking but nonetheless tailored joggers.

Here, the fluidity between genders was also anything but sexless, with bared necklines and legs galore, nodding to the subversion of gendered codes of the 1980s, according to Valette.

He also made sure to explore the hedonistic edge of the 1970s, with a print inspired by the Factory founder’s fruit bowl paintings featuring oblique sexual references like an open pomegranate or oblong vegetables, or a top made from ropes that looked at once like charming handcraft and fetish gear.

At a moment where ideals of dressing up are infusing back into men’s wear, Valette’s further exploration of the frontier between tailoring and casualwear hits the bull’s-eye.

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