PARIS (AP) -- In a house as classic as Valentino, there is little room for the revolutionary, a point made clear in a sober ready-to-wear offering Tuesday.
Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli described an "imaginative journey" that "explored different iconographies" but the program notes better captured the mood: They cited the show's "dominating sense of control."
Structured silhouettes in deep red, black and midnight blue had tight, sophisticated smocking and the painstaking embroidery seen in January's highly artisanal couture.
High and scooped collars on long coats and knee-length dresses were expressed in thick black leather. Frog fastenings closing straight, slim coats, tone-on-tone trim running along precisely cut bodices and tapered menswear trousers emphasized the constructed look.
It was finely executed, but at times had flashes of the stern head-mistress, albeit at an extremely glamorous school.
To be sure, there were traces the designers' worldly travels: tunics with fabrics that smacked of a Balkan patterning that playfully moved to white touches of Jackie Kennedy -- who was famously dressed by founder Valentino Garavani.