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After the whirlwind that was Paris Fashion Week, I wanted to take a closer look at the Valentino show. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have outdone themselves for the Autumn Winter 2014 collection. The designers drew inspiration from one of their favorite sources, Rome. This time they looked to the work of three female artists from the Roman Art scene in the sixties and seventies: Giosetta Fioroni, Carol Rama, and Carla Accardi. These women shared a passion for self expression.

Freeing themselves from their usual narrative imagery, Chiuri and Piccioli began with 1960s coats and shifts in vibrant colors. The graphic patterns featured were a definite nod to the work of abstract painter, Carla Accardi. This was a welcome departure from the romance of previous seasons. Then came the elegant cape silhouettes – in leather, in lace, in silk crepe, and in super soft double-face cashmere. There were also metallic pieces with butterfly and floral prints as well patchworking. This idea extended from a multicolored diamond motif on a midi skirt to ruched lace dresses. When it came to their signature evening gowns, they were high-waisted with full skirts in fabrications as light as air. The voluminous tulle sleeves were as delicate as butterfly wings. They were so achingly beautiful.

Creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri & Pierpaolo Piccioli were truly at their best this season. It was such a sensational show! Valentino Garavani, himself, seemed pleased. He was seen visibly weeping in the front row and embraced the designers at the finale.

*There was an unusual sighting at the Valentino presentation and it wasn’t on the runway. A major seating debacle had led to Anna Wintour sitting in (gasp!) the second row.