"I'm inspired by clothes that are worn not because
they are in fashion, but because they make women feel
unique and confident," wrote Valentino in his program
notes. The statement sums up his house's devotion to a
loyal clientele of over 40 years, rather than to the
often whimsical shifts of the fashion moment.
All of Valentino's well-known classics turned up on
his runway: elegant tailleurs, glamorous gowns and
plenty of sparkle. Day wear was forceful and
strong: Black crepe suits with embroidered off-white
georgette shirts, pinstripe trousers and fur-trimmed
vests all had a masculine air to them. Red-and-beige
tweed pantsuits, long plaid skirts and fishnet tops
provided more casual alternatives.
Valentino's requisite evening gowns were mostly
black crepe sheaths lavished with sequins; a
strass-embroidered satin gown was embellished with
panthers, and long taffeta dresses came generously
ruffled. But no Valentino show would be complete
without a shock of red: Alek Wek dazzled in a bias-cut
backless number with a pinched waist and a sprinkle of
ostrich feathers on the skirt.