A Valentino show without a red dress? After their FW 09 collection’s reverent tone, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli placed their own stamp on the brand while not steering too far from the archives. This season’s collection felt young and upbeat, a necessary evolution for the brand if it is to remain afloat in the stormy market. Dresses were made from swirls of pale organza, with hemlines at mid-thigh. A cosmetic-toned organza shorts ensemble, paired with a sheer printed top, and sheer lace pants with an almost-matching lace jacket were innovative and feminine versions of the suit. The vertical ruffles on a taupe leather jacket were the perfect rendition of classic Valentino translated for the next generation. While the great Valentino may not approve of pants fashioned from black leather strips that whipped around the leg, the edgy style will help to expand the house’s appeal. Chiuri and Piccioli are succeeding at the difficult task of updating the label while respecting its ladylike past.

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