Heady doses of femininity are always a constant in Valentino's work, and this Spring brings plenty of nude backs, plunging necklines and romantic details to satisfy both his traditional clientele and a newer generation.
For day, there are curvaceous suits with plissé soleil skirts, large rose appliqués and uniform-inspired piping and buckle fasteningsall executed with the masterful skill of Signora Anna Mercuri, who has been at Valentino's atelier for 38 years. Cocktail hour and evening are decidedly sexy: Bias-cut gowns with provocative décolletés shimmer with a constellation of beads, crystals and sequins. Sweeping skirts in metallic shades feature rose and petal bouquets at the waistline; wear them with an organza bolero or a lacy shawl.
Valentino women aren't shy about their love of accessories, and they will find plenty of pencil-thin golden heels with floral embellishments to satisfy their most decadent cravings. Valentino's token concession to minimalism: the Lilliputian size of his new compact bags. Too small to accommodate a pack of cigarettes, they are meant to hold only bare-bone essentials: keys, lipstick and a couple of platinum cards. Then again, who needs anything more?