Valentino S/S '11 ready-to-wear collection was the perfect antidote to the mild fashion fug I found myself in this afternoon (brought on by a combo of a relentlessly grey sky, the mother of all bad hair days - bloody soft Parisian water - and one too many "spiked lemonade" cocktails at team Grazia's new fave Parisian eatery, Ralph's, last night!).
First up, I was seated in perfect position to ogle the divinely gorgeous Olivia Palermo who was sitting in the front row opposite. God, that girl is exquisite. Then on to more eye candy - the pitch-perfect collection itself. From the chiffon dresses, appliqued dresses that opened the show to the putty-coloured gowns with net overlays that closed it, myself and half the audience were literally sighing in delight.
This was design duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccooli's fifth season at the Valentino helm and with this collection they nailed the very essence of what the brand should be in 2011 - unashamedly feminine with a serving of sass on the side. Simple jersey day dresses were gussied up with a flounced cuff or a ruffle detail on the front. Cocktail dresses were given a trompe l'oeil effect of looking like a skirt and top by using two different weights of lace (one super delicate, the other almost macrame). Suit jackets fitted snugly and were worn with high-waisted skirts or shorts. It was all delivered with a lightness of touch that was incredibly modern yet also very Valentino.
Valentino himself sitting front row and perfectly coiffed, rose to his feet and gave the pair a standing ovation when they took their curtain call. High praise indeed!
As the fash pack filed out of the show venue, exclamations of 'I want it all!' were heard coming from a number of editors. And my fashion fug was a distant memory.
- Siobhan Mallen in Paris