Fashion

Remaining true to her predecessor, new designer Alessandra Facchinetti sent a collection heavily reliant on the maestro's favourite colour - red - down the runway on Thursday
Photo: Getty Images
Click on photos for gallery

Metallics and sharp tailoring were the order of the day at Yves Saint Laurent...
Photo: Getty Images

...whereas Stella McCartney presented a collection inspired by the medieval period, including dresses bearing faux coat-of-arms prints
Photo: Getty Images

A new age for Valentino in Paris as Stella goes medieval

29 FEBRUARY 2008
The world's style experts were keeping a keen eye on the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week on Thursday, as Valentino presented the first ready-to-wear collection designed by someone other than founder Valentino Garavani - who retired last month - in 45 years.

His replacement, Alessandra Facchinetti, the 35-year-old who also stood in for Tom Ford at Gucci for a spell, has vowed her creations for the brand would not bear a marked contrast to the sophisticated elegance the fashion house is famous for.

"I am a part of the changes, but I won't lose Valentino's DNA," she said on the eve of the runway show. "He is famous for chic and elegant clothes, bows, spots, lace and ruffles."

And the talented designer remained true to her word, sending out pleated cocktail dresses with rose corsages and Valentino-favoured red, ruffle-adorned silk creations past an A list audience that included Hollywood actress Winona Ryder and rapper Kanye West.

Meanwhile at Stella McCartney, Sir Paul's girl presented a medieval-inspired collection in a colour palette of silvers and charcoals, featuring faux coat-of-arm print details. Fabrics including felt and wool formed the basis of cardigans, coats and cloaks, while chiffon and silk creations in autumnal hues were prominent in the eveningwear section, ranging from long, flowing gowns to thigh-skimming smock-style dresses.

In contrast to Stella's relaxed tailoring, Yves Saint Laurent played it sharp - with a colour scheme of block metallics to match.