Valentino's Fall Collection Kicks Off New Carpet Trends

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Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli showcase their latest fashions, helping eveningwear evolve past last season's peplums and primary colors.

Paris fashion week is close to wrapping up, with but two of the biggest shows still forthcoming: Marc Jacobs' collection for Louis Vuitton and Elie Saab. But fashion houses like Dior, Chanel and Valentino are already showcasing looks for the next round of entertainment-industry events, including the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and the Emmy's. In the span of just one season, trends have emerged to challenge the looks that were popular on last year's red carpets, including ruffles, tiers, peplums, fishtails, and red or blue color statements.

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Valentino's fall show featured two new trendy elements that fashionistas saw on runways in New York: sheer chiffon, and heavily-encrusted beading. The embellishment on gowns has become so intricate that there's nothing "old lady" or retro about it. Using beads that look like crushed grapes that were sculpted into feminine silhouettes, their texture has its own volume, weight and visual complexity.

The fashion house hasn't thrown out all of its old ideas, however: combining last season's color choices with this one's style additions, they're producing sheer gowns on chiffon, silk or mesh that boast textured layers of beading, while a variety of colors are paired or put together. Valentino put together a pale pink gown with sleeves (another of the season's trends), layered sheerness and beading, and it's so beautiful that it seems destined for a walk down the red carpet at Cannes on the slinky frame of an A-lister like Keira Knightley or Carey Mulligan. Meanwhile, most of the other gowns were produced in unembellished reds, or intricately-designed blacks.

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For those familiar with the season-in and -out transitions, it's exciting when designers start to get creative with classic shapes and colors. But it's especially good news for the fashion-forward in Hollywood, because of the myriad opportunities to don formalwear, and the need to wear something that's not merely special, but stands out.

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