The first look of the Valentino Spring 2014 Haute Couture collection set the tone, quite literally, for a show inspired by La Traviata: the airy tulle dress was hand-embroidered with the Italian opera's melodies. What followed were spectacular feats of couture — a multicolored cape with feather butterflies that took 550 hours to apply, a princess-worthy gown made up of 5,000 meters of silver and gold thread, and a dress depicting exotic jungle animals in rich satin — intermixed with more minimalistic gowns. Some dresses even appeared unfinished: tutus that looked scant of fabric were intentionally so to "celebrate the sublime yearning of time," according to the show notes.
And one look that completely captured our attention? The swan dress, which was made entirely out of hand-sewn feathers and harkened back to the infamous Oscars dress worn by Björk in 2001. Luckily for Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpalo Piccioli, this version was far more tasteful. And while the rusted hues of this collection might not pop on an award season red carpet, the craftsmanship certainly wouldn't go unnoticed.