January 20, 2008 Paris
For cocktail through evening, he explored draping, chiffon, and frothy fan pleating with some pretty results (the best in subtle color washes of gray or pale yellow). He also took the opportunity to showcase the development of his luxe Privé accessories: giant cuffs, heart-shaped necklaces, chokers with beads and hand motifs, and crocodile clutches fastened with semiprecious cabochon stones. His long gownsusually destined for the Academy Awards' red carpet (though who knows, this year?)were as authoritative as always, this time gently tiered and graceful in movement. As a finale, though, he gave away the honors to someone else: A multilayered orange-red organza gown was a tribute to Valentino, his great Italian compatriot in couture, who finally retires this season.