Diane Kruger and Salma Hayek are front row at Giambattista Valli couture show in Paris

Black, white and romantic all over: Diane Kruger and Salma Hayek are front row at Giambattista Valli couture show in Paris
By Hannah Rand

Diane Kruger and Salma Hayek, along with society maven and sister of the late Jackie Onassis, Lee Radziwill, made for an exclusive guest list at Giambattista Valli's couture show in Paris today.

Held at the Hotel de Crillon, the spring/summer collection was only the second couture offering from the Italian designer.

Mr Valli delivered a confident offering though, with lace flowers, layers of chiffon and rivers of light-reflecting, shimmery sequins on both ballgowns and knee-length cocktail dresses.


Celebrity guests: Lee Radziwill , the society maven and younger sister of Jackie Onassis, Salma Hayek and Diane Kruger, made up the front row at the exclusive event, which was held at the Hotel de Crillon

The designer used a palette of that was predominantly monochrome, set off by flashes of colour in shades of pinks from the softest blossom to deep fuschia and plums.

While block colours dominated, Mr Valli also made way for blurs of floral prints and everything was softened with textures, such as polka-dotted chiffon or stiffened wool.

Belted waists gave structure to billowing gowns, many of which featured over-sized ruffles and bows around the neckline.

Mr Valli's wearable cocktail dresses came with romantic overlays of seductive lace as well as clustered of embroidered silk flowers and pretty belts.


Patterns and ruffles: Mr Valli used both block colour and patterns in his gowns, which were all adorned with an element of texture, from soft, blurring prints to ruffles and bows around the neckline and belted waists

Mr Valli was only recently admitted into the elite Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Last year, he made his couture debut as a 'guest label'.

He joins an illustrious group of designers taking part in the biannual event, among them fellow Italians Valentino, Armani Prive and Atelier Versace, which returned for the first time in eight years.

The only major French labels that are scheduled to show this year are Chanel, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Givenchy, although several newer design houses are taking part.


Black and white: Monochrome featured heavily in the exquisite collection - but any rigid formality was broken up with layers of organza and rivers of shimmering sequins sewn onto polka-dotted chiffon

The garments will be bought by a small and extremely selective (read, very wealthy) clientele based mainly in China, Russia, the Middle East, as well as North and South America.

Cocktail hour: As well as full-length ballgowns, Mr Valli also designed knee-length cocktail dresses with romantic overlays of seductive lace as well as embroidered silk flowers mixed with bows and belts

The one-off, hand-crafted creations can sell for $40,000 or to over $100,000 for a wedding dress.

Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel and Sarah Jessica Parker have all worn couture gowns by Mr Valli on the red carpet. And there is no doubt we will see plenty more as the awards season progresses.