On the Runway

Paris Fashion Week: Day 7 With Valentino

Valentino Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Valentino Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Valentino Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

After lunch, I made the long trek to the Halle Freyssinet, a warehouse on the outskirts of Paris for the Valentino show. Since Valentino stepped down two years ago, the collection has been designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. The master has always had a grand style – I was at his last ready-to-wear show in Paris – so the pressure is on the duo to live up to – and beyond – his expectations. And they have, with a new direction that is younger and fresher to appeal to a new generation of PYTs. One of those, for example, is British shoe designer, Charlotte Dellal, who sat front row today dressed in a leopard print cap, a scarlet dress and her own design red sky-high shoes.

The show started with sheer nude-tone dresses trimmed with tiny white and black floral appliqués. Bias cut ruffles trimmed the front of other sheer dresses, and the hem of a stunning cropped leather cream jacket. A small collection of feminine denim followed, and then my favourites – streamlined lace dresses edged in ribbon trim. There was one ruffle-trimmed red dress – in homage to Valentino’s famous red dresses, perhaps – but overall the collection was soft shades of cream, blush, black and white.  

In keeping with the message all over Paris, many of the shoes were flat, while other heels were modest and trimmed with fine gold chain. Beauty was radiant but simple and youthful – shimmery eye shadow paired with lots of mascara and natural lips. A single braid finished it off.