Dark-hued luxury in rich brocade and midnight-navy silks dominated Valentino's Couture collection for Fall 2012. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli revisited the ethereal silhouettes and deep palette present in Fall's ready-to-wear, but explored new shapes in evening wear too, this time topping their gowns with capes and raising the hemlines and necklines of slim-cut brocade sheaths. We get both a sense of the regal — most obviously from the capes sweeping the runway — but also in the intricacy of embellishments and the sheer weight of the brocade fabrics. Necklines cited more sophistication than sensuality, though there's certainly a fair share of skin to be seen in the sheer insets and cutouts of the more fluid gowns. The designers married their influences, French painter Gustave Moreau mixed in with the elegance of a modern woman, calling to mind stylish ladies like front-row attendee Olivia Palermo or Charlize Theron. Like their own appeal, the beauty of this collection was all about nuances that came together to frame a larger, richer, big picture.
- Trends: Brocade, sheer, florals, capes, embellishments
- Colors: Navy, red, black, soft yellow, and pink
- Key piece: The brocade pastel yellow sheath and the sheer and lace-inset navy gown with cape
- Accessories: Lace-up heels, ballet-slipper inspired pumps
- Who would wear it: Red-carpet beauties like Charlize Theron