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Valentino

Valentino Couture Fall/Winter 2012

FADE TO BLUE

Paris: In contrast to the sweet, youthful collections they have presented in recent seasons, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli’s current couture offering was decidedly more serious, even somber. The designers pushed aside the house’s signature red tone in favor of an emotional navy blue. Modest long sleeves and high necklines were a departure from their typical feminine, flirtatious fare, but lush brocades, intricate beading and golden embroidery made the experience more sensual and regal. Lest any lifelong Valentino followers be disappointed, Chiuri and Picciolo included a handful of traditional red pieces, including a long-sleeved column dress made from duchesse satin. But they closed the show with a parade of darkly elegant black and blue gowns. Though fans of the designers’ work at Valentino may miss the more upbeat looks, this season’s serious mood felt genuine, and the results were hauntingly beautiful. –Joanna Manganaro 

Silhouette: Columnar / Long + languid / Top heavy / A-line / Hourglass

Color: Black / Navy / Lemon meringue / Blush / Gold / Nude / Magenta / Valentino red

Key Items: Long-sleeved gowns / Brocade coats / Embellished jumpsuits / Sheer-opaque cape

Materials: Chiffon / Lace / Jacquard / Brocade / Silk crepe / Duchesse satin / Cashmere / Silk charmeuse

Print + Pattern: Mirror image florals with sparrows / Trees

Details + Trim: Piecing / Long sleeves / Accordion pleats / Beading / Embroidery / Jewel appliqués / Heart-shaped necklines

Accessories + Footwear: Brocade or velvet square-toe pumps

View in RUNWAY: QUICKLOOK

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