With the founders of the house, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti in attendance, (seated beside Jennifer Lopez, doing the rounds today after Chanel), and with classical music trilling away, not to mention the sobriety of the clothes or serenity of the models, the Valentino catwalk had all the ceremonial splendour of a (very fashionable) Catholic nave.
The Rome-based fashion house, now presided over by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, always provides the penultimate day at Paris Fashion Week with awe-inspiring prettiness and breath-taking craftsmanship.
This season an ecclesiastical pureness wafted through the clothes – from the first plain precise day dresses with open sunray seams and the cardinal-red leather coat, to the high-necked floor-shaving dresses or puritan white collars and cuffs on buttoned-up blouses.
Valentino woman is an exceedingly precious thing – almost untouchable in her crystal-tipped nude lace skirt or her (definitely untouchable) white lace jacket and skirt. Although her transparent plastic mac with crystal seams worn with the new version of the divinely studded nude shoe (as often seen on Alexa Chung) whispered subtle subversiveness.
These designers, ever faithful to the Valentino house codes, make femininity and delicacy to the utmost degree. As seen in the thistledown lightness of their lace gowns, or one dramatic long white high-necked lace dress, not unlike the bridal gown Valentino Garavani himself made for Anne Hathaway’s wedding two days ago.