While fashion week for ready-to-wear clothing hasn’t quite begun, the couture shows are well under way in Paris. With gowns one could only dream of seeing in person, yet alone wearing, designers brought their A-game this season. But nothing stunned me more than the classic styles debuted at Valentino’s show.

With ethereal floor-length gowns that ranged in color, texture and versatility, Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli managed to embrace all of the new edgy trends this season while keeping the ever-so-elegant Valentino brand very much in tact.

Oh, where to begin? The show started with flowy gowns that pulled from ethereal elements, in colors ranging from deep forest green to oxblood, all the way to the it-color of the season: mustard. Gowns embellished in rich velvet, patterned to perfection with regal gold embroidery, were some of the most notable.

A bit out of character, some designs embraced the pure nature of the feminine body — with models completely nude underneath the translucent net and laced bodices, accompanied by a long tasseled robe. In a sign of another trend already starting to take hold, many of the outfits featured floor-length dusters, which often added a pop of color and contrasting texture to the runway look.

High necks, deep Vs and ruffles all managed to make their way on more than one design in this couture collection. Accompanied by elegant headpieces and stunning body jewelry, each design from the fabric to the accessories was carefully curated and calculated to fit into the larger collection at hand.

Yet with all the impeccable designs and added extras, nothing managed to distract from the outfits. The lightness of the designs and the effervescent atmosphere of the collection overall was different when compared with the other darker and often heavier collections featured throughout Paris couture week.

While none of us mere mortals may never have the privilege of wearing one of these engineered masterpieces, I’m sure that we will be seeing many of these designs at upcoming award shows and galas this season. As one of the first original houses to have started this high-fashion industry we style fiends find ourselves obsessed with each season, Valentino’s couture collection catered to the rich and famous, the pure, the daring, the goth, the goddess and everyone who finds themselves stuck in between.

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