It's such a shame none of the girls who walked in Valentino's Fall 2013 show on Tuesday wore pearl earrings. The collection was an ode to Flemish artists and artisans that visited everything from Rembrandt to Delftware, and even threw in some less-than-obvious references to Vermeer.
But even shoppers who didn't major in art history will find things to appreciate and love in this offering, like the white, embroidered leather collars on dresses that called "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp" to mind and enhanced their wearer's faces. The many blue and white dresses in the show were cut from fabrics developed to look like Delft pottery, seen often in Vermeer's paintings.
The clothes themselves toed the line between Valentino's place in the fairy tale of fashion (a few ermine pieces made the models wearing them look like Renaissance royalty) and the current vogue for rounded shoulders and generous outerwear. What Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have shown here is that they can work a theme without getting too thematic. And the results are simply stunning.