Mar 7, 2012
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Want to look dainty in leather? Ask Valentino

Mar 7, 2012

PARIS - With lots of black and lashings of leather, Valentino's autumn-winter look unveiled in Paris on Tuesday sailed into unusual waters for the Italian house, but stayed true to its subtly feminine esthetic.

Valentino - AW 2012/13 - Photo: Pixel Formula

Under a Fashion Week marquee in the Tuileries gardens by the Louvre, Valentino's first model stepped out in a cape-coat in black leather, supple as fabric, parted to reveal matching wide bermuda pants and white blouse.

Leather came as fluid coats in varying lengths, with buttons or curlicued toggles like the fastenings of a Chinese silk coat.

Front row, the US soul singer Alicia Keys and top model Natalia Vodianova watched the models file by in romantic chignons twisted behind the ears, in sleeveless dresses cut on the knee, one red with a leather breastplate.

Necklines were demure, mostly straight cuts that "focus attention on the face" explained the duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, the house designers since 2008.

With sleeves cut at the elbow, the handful of lace dresses and blouses seemed modest despite the transparency, unlike some designers who seem to offer up their models' bare skin to the onlooker.

A mostly black palette gave way to a handful of whites, a few prints, and splashes of the house's trademark red.

Short-haired fur jackets jostled for attention with show pieces like an elaborate coat in a patchwork of black textures, from the shiniest down to the perfect mat of velvet.

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