If you were to judge a label purely by its front row than Giambattista Valli was already looking good before the show started. Farida Khelfa, the new face of the still-to-be-launched Schiaparelli label, and embodiment-of-chic Inès de La Fressange were sitting next to each other, role models for aging gracefully. Lee Radziwell, T's current cover star, is another of Valli's biggest fans but was a no show.
Valli's stately fan club should find lots to love from his fall 2013 collection. It kicked off with a series of snowy white looks--sporty white parkas with fur-lined hoods paired with dressier draped petal skirts and dresses. It was a styling trick that carried through the collection: dressier looks--for which Valli is known--were paired with sportswear pieces to tone them down. Take, for example, the closing look: A silk layered ball-gown skirt worn with what looked like a stark white tee and a parka with silk sleeves. Or a gold brocade top with grey wool menswear-inspired suit pants. Crystal embroidered flowers found their way onto a varsity zip jacket and pants set as well as a cocktail dress cinched with a bow. This collection was all about relaxed elegance. Even if we can only aspire to be as monied as Radziwell and de la Fressange are to be able to afford this stuff, we can at least take notes.