Lace collars nod to a romantic Edwardian era

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The Independent Online

It is a sign of the currently cautious mood in fashion that the garment many designers in Paris are promoting for autumn/winter 2005 is, simply, a pair of trousers.

It is a sign of the currently cautious mood in fashion that the garment many designers in Paris are promoting for autumn/winter 2005 is, simply, a pair of trousers.

Long and slightly boot-cut, after appearing at Balenciaga and Viktor & Rolf last week, this bestseller turned up again on Valentino's catwalk yesterday. He cut his trousers from camel-coloured corduroy or black wool, and paired them with 1960s-style capes with epaulettes, or fitted jackets. Valentino designs are not known for informality. But bow-bedecked jackets aside, this was a more youthful offering than past seasons. In particular his favourite shade of red looked vivacious on a pin-tucked swing coat. Silk georgette chemise dresses with lace collars were a nod to a romantic Edwardian sensibility.

Valentino is part of a dwindling generation who design ready-to-wear fashion, and are also at the helm of a haute couture studio. He is famous for dressing European royals, such as Princess Rosario of Bulgaria, who sat on the front row with Milla Jovovich and Stefano Gabbana, who wear his haute couture line. "I want my clothes to walk the streets," he said. "Although my ultimate goal is ... to try and make a woman beautiful, sexy, glamorous."

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