Valentino epitomizes elegance

Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli eschewed the glitz seen in other collections over the last few days, instead providing a return to elegance.

The palette was kept simple, with black and navy blue the biggest shades. Dresses swept to the floor and were voluminous rather than form-fitting, although for those looking to show off curves there was a simple black, chiffon piece which was so sheer dark panels were needed to cover the model’s modesty.

The classic Valentino red also got a look in, used in a full-length silk dress and also in a billowing floor-sweeping gown with transparent panels around the chest and knees.

The whole Fall/Winter 12 collection was a take on classic with a twist. So high, choker collars were used on most of the designs, but the cut kept them from looking too old-fashioned.

“We just love our past,” Maria said. “The capes are the idea of the woman as the new Madonna… like in Giotto and Botticelli.”

The collection went down well with Kim Kardashian, who was in the audience with her boyfriend Kanye West and was thrilled to attend her first couture Fashion Week.

Also showing yesterday was Jean Paul Gaultier, who wowed with a flamboyant collection.

The designer surprised many by showing models of all shapes and sizes, with even some men gracing the catwalk.

Black and gold were the big colors and tailoring was kept tight. Pants were immaculately fitted, teamed with jackets with peplums and leather sleeves. Key was the headwear – models donned top hats or turbans, with one strutting the catwalk with a cane.