First Look: Valentino

We've nicknamed Paris Fashion Week l'inferne because sometimes, it's tough. There are crushing crowds, pushy paparazzi, venues venting heat instead o
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We've nicknamed Paris Fashion Week l'inferne because sometimes, it's tough. There are crushing crowds, pushy paparazzi, venues venting heat instead o

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We've nicknamed Paris Fashion Week l'inferne because sometimes, it's tough. There are crushing crowds, pushy paparazzi, venues venting heat instead of fresh air, and sometimes even PETA. At least, that was the case today at Valentino, when approximately half the editors got into the Louvre (Carine was literally pulled by a publicist who only spoke Italian), and then the giant doors slammed shut. "There has been a security breach," boomed a security guard. "We believe an animal rights group has gone inside. Nobody else may come in. Goodbye." Um, hello. Half the foreign press were trapped. Some hurled swears. Some turned back. We marched up to the security gate and slipped inside about five minutes into the show. There were no seats left, so we crammed in with Valentino's team on the stairs. The good part was that we could actually see past the runway, to the backstage area where Gemma's dress got caught on her heel just before she hit the catwalk, and Natalia tried to fluff out her hair, and Valentino himself stood in the wing, watching his last spring collection ever while we were watching him. The photos aren't fabulous, but the show actually was - lots of delicious ripples, lots of tailored chiffon, and an audience so obviously smitten with the man and his clothes that the love seemed to riff off the gowns like sound vibrations on a bell. As for the PETA people, we didn't see them - perhaps they realized the futility of drenching an evening gown that was already a trademark blood red.

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(Gemma, blurred)

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Valentino, by Seurrat

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Valentino, for real

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Models en march.

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Seafoam.

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Tanya D.

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The press, trapped.