Here's what not to do after a Valentino show: read the notes printed on lovely blush paper and teasingly waiting for you to pick them up. Exhibit a) "Sensuality is a fragile frisson perceived beneath well-defined lines." Exhibit b) "Forgotten gestures are rediscovered to suddenly appear surprisingly modern..." I won't torture (or amuse) you with more. Here, however, is what you could do instead: dream about being the Valentino woman, living in a Valentino world. Or you could try and snap a pic of Jennifer Lopez. Both with their own merits.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have taken an icon of a brand whose loyal customers talk about Jackie O because they actually 'summered' with her to one whose celebrity following and wannabe customers talk about Jackie O because they pinned a picture of her on their Pinterest wall. And they achieved that 'little beauty work' by staying respectful to the ideals Mr Valentino himself who was front row today (the one with the gaggle of pugs in the private jet) values almost as much as those pugs - elegance and poise and unapologetic beauty. Look at all the young things choosing to cover up in Valentino on the red carpet, or women lusting over a pair of studded flat Mary Janes with the same passion usually reserved for non-orthopaedic-approved footwear. The collection they presented in the sweltering Tuileries space was ridiculously desirable and pretty, never succumbing to sickeningly sweet.
The opening slip of a dress, spaghetti-strapped, black with aerated pleats and then again, in powder leather, brought to mind a hot summer's day in Rome (the city was an inspiration for the designers) and a new, for Valentino, feel of sexiness started to come through. With the heels and minaudieres transparent the focus was all on the clothes - not that you wont want to add those plexiglass Mary Janes in your collection. The prerequisite Valentino red made an honorary appearance, first as a leather trench coat and finally as two long dresses but it could have easily been left out - the palette was romantic; lavender, rose, the season's big hit - baby blue. White lace yokes appeared on black light-as-air chiffon dresses and crips white collars and cuffs on sheer shirts. A clear plastic mac, its nude leather edges studded was particularly fun and snakeskin ribbon panels run along a pretty shirtdress before consuming an entire coat and appearing again on another clear mac. It allured to the frisson of the show notes and it added another dimension to the collection. The long, demure gowns we've come to expect, and love, from these two were part of the finale but it was the simple slip dress, also long, that resonated more. Those long Roman summers, they're pretty hot!