Valentino's brooding spring beauties

PARIS, Oct 4, 2011 (AFP) - Sculpted from head to toe in demurely cut dresses of lace, macrame, chiffon and embroidery, Valentino sent out brooding beauties full of a shy sensuality for its new spring-summer look on Tuesday.

Valentino
Valentino - SS 2012 / Photo: Pixel Formula

Design duo Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Churi sent out a bucolic cascade of lace gowns, most on the knee or at mid-calf, in a palette of soft nudes, whites, yellows, vibrant reds and sensuous blacks.

Necklines were either demurely high, buttoned delicately at the back with long, loose sleeves and a slight puff at the shoulder, or elegant bustiers that contoured the body without hugging it.

Worn under wispy plaits wound on the head and long, glittering pendant earrings, the collection conjured the world of a 19th-century belle -- but with cuts that were clean and crisp throughout.

Valentino
Valentino - SS 2012 / Photo: Pixel Formula

A deep red lace dress swept from high rounded neck to ankle in one movement, cinched by a fine red rope belt, over delicate heels in a matching hue.

Button-up white lace blouses were matched with black lace skirts, cut on the knee or the ankle, over flat black rope sandals.

"Our work is all about movement, about beauty in lightness," Picciolo told reporters after the show.

Other stand-out pieces included a simple white chiffon dress, deceptively simple with round neck, fitted bust, sleeves that just cupped the shoulder and a soft A-line skirt that skimmed the figure thanks to a hidden corset.

Valentino
Valentino - SS 2012 / Photo: Pixel Formula

A knee-length macrame dress came in a joyous cornflower blue, while a bare-shouldered chiffon dress of the palest mint flowed from fitted bodice into gentle skirts that reached the ankle, again above sandals.

A soundtrack featuring the Canadian singer Feist injected a punky, new romantic feel, while a pair of pink lace boxer shorts, under a semi-sheer lace pink poncho, offered a detour into a sexier register.

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