The house of Valentino has many signatures, from red gowns to day suits, bows to lace, but the one thing that Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri have made their calling card since taking over two and a half years ago is lightness. You'll find plenty of red-carpet gowns and evening dresses in their Resort lineup, but not a single corset. That gives frocks embellished with hour upon hour of delicate beadwork, tulle embroidery, and lace appliqués the unstructured ease of a T-shirt, and that makes the designers very popular with the beautiful people—from Carey Mulligan, who chose one of their Fall numbers for a photo op in New York last week, to Euro social Matilde Borromeo, who wore a dress by the duo for her walk down the aisle earlier this month.

Speaking of weddings, Piccioli and Chiuri's new collection includes some white dresses in cotton and organza lace that would thrill the sort of bride who balances a taste for luxury with a low-maintenance attitude. "Effortlessly pretty" is how they described them, and the characterization fits for their floral garden party dresses as well, with calla lily prints so light they appeared almost sun-faded. In truth, though, there was nothing effortless about the construction of these clothes or their accessories. The designers have launched a capsule collection of ten pairs of shoes called Timestrings. On the instep of each is inscribed how many hours, minutes, and seconds were required to construct it. A clever idea, but again, what really charmed was the ease of the studded pavé flat sandals they showed with all those dresses.