Paris, Jan 26: Is life just a dream? It certainly seemed to be in the diaphanous, white and haunting spring-summer collection from Valentino on Wednesday that ended Paris' haute couture week.
Models in sparkling lace choker collars and long smocked taffeta dresses appeared like ghosts, floating through the show's neoclassical venue.
For fans of couture, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli's creations were an instant hit. But they weren't the real stars of the show.
The program notes ensured that the “petites mains” - the old Italian seamstresses, many of whom have been with the house for decades - were credited.
The Valentino front row was lined with stars including Cameron Diaz, socialite and fashion “it girl” Shala Monroque and actress and Princess of Venice and Piedmont, Clotilde Courau.
“It's been a long time I've been coming to the show and seeing Valentino, I met him, now it's new designers that are fantastic, because they introduced their own style, but we still have Valentino vibes and soul, so it's beautiful,” said Courau.
One strapless gown with embroidered beads and adornments, it read, took 850 hours to make. Another 1,200 hours. Even without that detail, it didn't fail to astonish revelers as it swept past with its long train.
A full dress in soft-white invisible tulle was perfected with small lace gloves that wrapped around just two fingers.
The show's only downside was its dependence on white - something that was broken up in the last spring-summer collection with flashes of scarlet.
“There is no reason, really. This morning, I said ‘oh my god, there's no red in the collection,' but it's only for that,” explained Chiuri.
“We are speaking our language, sometimes red it works, sometimes it doesn't work. This season there is a bud of roses, red roses, which was - red - it was a very romantic and pretty red. Why not?” added Piccioli.