Fairy-tale looks from Valentino, Elie Saab at Paris shows

July 6 - Fairy-tale femininity held forth on the last full day of the Paris haute couture collections on Wednesday, with Valentino and Elie Saab unveiling elegant refined looks fit for a princess.

Elie Saab, Valentino
Italian designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Picciolo acknowledge the public at the end of the Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Haute Couture Collection Show for Valentino in Paris. - photo: afp

Breaking from the sharp-edge modernism seen the day before from the likes of Giorgio Armani and Stephane Rolland, both houses offered their most exclusive clients the most finely crafted examples of high fashion.

For Valentino, designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli kept the cutting simple for Cinderella-like dresses, gowns and coats that required hundreds of hours of embroidery and weaving.

Danish top model Freja Beha Erichsen floated down the runway at the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild in fine Chantilly lace with golden detailing. Other etheral looks included a black Cossack coat embroidered with gold sequins.

Front-row VIPs included American actresses Anne Hathaway and Amanda Peet.

At the Palais de Chaillot, Lebanese-born Saab stayed true to the classical lines that have made him a consistent favourite of red-carpet habitues from Hollywood to the Gulf.

There was a something of a 1920s glamour to his 41 looks -- all dresses, apart from a couple of lace miniskirts -- in tulle, chiffon and lace in shades of aquamarine, blush, blue and bronze.

Swarovsky crystals added sparkle to many of the outfits, and Saab clearly enjoyed playing with all kinds of options for bared backs that lent a discreet sense of drama to otherwise angelic silhouettes.

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