Valette Studio’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection is nothing short of extraordinary. Inspired by the androgynous beauty and seductive allure of American actor Joe Dallessandro, as well as his effortless take on clothing– the new collection is an ode to sartorial freedom and emancipation, underlining playfulness and personality as opposed to stereotypes, rules, and uniformity.
Pop Art flowers, psychedelic motifs, and dynamic stripes are some of the collection’s main highlights, evoking the joyfulness and hedonism of the late 1960s. Skin-tight tank tops–one of Dallessandro’s everyday staples–and sleeveless body-conscious shirts emphasize the shoulders and chest, paired with pleated tailored poplin pants, skimpy shorts, or loose drawstring trousers.
Even the tailoring feels more laid-back this season, with zip-up blousons, utility coats, denim blazers, and fitted vests complementing the overall silhouette. Terry cloth separates evoke the language of casual sportswear and lazy summer holidays. Toying with the idea of 1980s gender-fuck, as opposed to today’s genderless, the designer Pierre-François Valette crafts streamlined day dresses and cropped tops with an anatomical edge, as well as tailored vests exposing skin in unexpected ways. A ‘V’ is embroidered on several pieces this season, including striking silver leather.
On the accessory front, large denim messenger bags and substantial necklaces made out of metal, rope, and contrasting rings bring imperfection and the appeal of the ‘homemade’ to mind. Sensual and spontaneous, this summer collection exudes confidence, as well as a willingness to dress for oneself, and not for others.
I discovered Valette Studio by Pierre-François Valette last winter when they presented their Men’s 2022 Fall Collection, which was a mix of formal and casual, flavored by Pop Art, Andy Warhol, and gender-fluid performers like Freddy Mercury, David Bowie, and Mick Jagger. It was my favorite collection of that season and this new designer reminded me a bit of the crowd-favorite French Jacquemus.
Valette Studio’s clothes are for all genders, as around 60 percent of the designer’s customers are female.
Pierre-François Valette founded Valette Studio in 2020. The graduate of the IFM trained with Isabel Marant and the house of Saint Laurent. He has an idiosyncratic “casual couture” aesthetic, in sync with new generations migrating between formal and streetwear. Each collection explores art and literature references, and although Valette Studio offers ready-to-wear styles, it functions in a modern “Maison de couture” spirit.
I talked to the designer to find out more about the brand and what he thinks about the future of fashion.
I love how genderless your designs are. Who is your targeted customer base? Is it millennial or Gen Z creatives from the city? What’s the percentage of female/male customers who buy your clothes?
Thank you very much for the compliment! Indeed, when I imagine a collection, I do not think of the feminine or the masculine, I imagine more an atmosphere, an environment, and a way of life in its entirety. People are free enough to know what they want to wear without us designers imposing on them a wardrobe that is for her and a wardrobe that is for him, right?!
My target clientele is a dynamic, positive generation that works, lives, loves, travels, discovers… and doesn’t want to change clothes three times a day. Clothes should liberate, not constrain. The look accompanies life, not clutters it. It is also for a generation in the perpetual migration of formality and streetwear.
My sales are about 60% women and the rest are men. But clothing has no gender for me, it has its own place.
What’s the vision for the brand in the next five years? Any plans on showing in New York?
My idea for Valette Studio in the next few years is that people can discover, wear, and buy my collections all over the world! I also hope to meet and continue to collaborate with photographers, videographers, painters, dancers, musicians, journalists, and writers… creation is something that is shared and experienced together.
To show in New York and all the major fashion capitals would be something incredible for my team and me.
I’ve always loved NYC for its energy, its forward-thinking, and the freedom it represents. Many New York icons are a source of inspiration for me like Warhol has been for my AW22-23 collection with the New York Factory- which has attracted so much talent.
How do you see the future of fashion? Do you see Fashion Weeks eventually getting rid of “Men’s” or “Women’s” and just presenting all at the same time?
Fashion is, I think, something adaptable, modular, and therefore terribly free and modern. Fashion comes and goes. In this period of the health crisis, it has been able to adapt and continue to express itself and to be seen differently. However, I deeply believe that a garment is something concrete, real, that you have to touch, smell, and feel. I’ve always found fashion and everything it stands for to be absolutely exciting– of novelty, surprise, challenge, and above all dream and joy.
Fashion– and this is already the case– will gradually lean towards something asexual and return to what it is: fashion for expressing oneself, fashion for telling stories, fashion for dreaming. Simply fashion to get better, for every day.
Valette Studio is definitely on our radar and we are excited for what the future holds.