Valentino’s show last night was probably the polar opposite of Jean Paul Gaultier’s, earlier that day. The Italian couture house presented a neat, concise and rather wearable collection, in the luxurious intimacy of the Solomon de Rothschild’s salon. The designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli opted for a romantic, mermaid-like definition of femininity, for a watercolour-tinted summer. The clothes, either cocktail dresses or skirts with shirts, were all sheer (and in some case, remarkably see-through), in flesh, ivory and cream tones, with occasional spurts of washed-out pistachio.
Bearing a high resemblance to lingerie, they operated on a game of loose and narrow folds, backs and the odd shoulder revealed, and almost invisible floral and linear motifs – all in tulle and crepe. The nighttime garments were embellished with sequins, and accessorised with butterfly wings necklaces. The result looked like 19th century Russian aristocracy (or at least how we fantasize about it today, partially due to the all blond models with braided back hair), but also a rather civilized pre-World War I British garden party. Precise and wearable, Valentino will find its place amongst summery town houses.