Valentino retires after his couture show in January, but fashion waits for no man or woman. Alessandra Facchinetti's pre-fall collection for the house, her first as Val's successor, was on display at the New York showroom on Thursday. The young Italian, who officially ended her deal with Moncler earlier this week, stayed true to Valentino's ladylike sensibilities, while injecting a bit of her own flair for proportion play, fabric manipulation, and couturelike embellishments. Elegant pod-shaped coats with belled, softly gathered sleeves were juxtaposed against tweedy suits comprising short, epauleted jackets and cropped, cuffed trousers. A narrow sheath was decorated with an origamilike fringe across the bust. For evening, which is of course Valentino country, Facchinetti experimented with high-necked blouses and long narrow skirts that tuliped below the knee, or floor-length dresses in which capelike sheaths were layered over narrow, belted columns. Going forward, it will be interesting to watch how she negotiates this old/new balancing act.