Arriving at the Valentino show in the Jardin des Tuileries is like attending a film premiere. Photographers flank the path like they do the red carpet, and fashion’s finest turn out to see the collection. Seated front row were the usual suspects: Miroslava Duma, Harley Viera-Newton, and Atlanta de Cadenet, as well as Elettra Wiedemann, Ciara, and Tatiana Santo Domingo, who recently married Andrea Casiraghi of Monaco, a prince no less.
The clothes too were fit for royalty. Inspired by the elaborate costumes at the Rome Opera workshop, designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli presented an opulently romantic collection, featuring the most exquisitely ornate hand-stitched embroidery. What looked like ethnic or folk iconography was seen in the brightest of colors on suede, lace, and silk chiffon.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Valentino without some serious dresses, and this season the lengths ranged from super-short to skimming the floor. The longer dresses featured column-shaped skirts with practically regal silhouettes -- many also featured delicate lace capes, which provided a nice touch. These more elaborate styles inevitably overshadowed some of the more wearable pieces -- the shirting, the suede shift dresses -- and yet, although it was spare, the long, plum knitted dress that Hanne Gaby Odiele wore was equally as arresting.