Valentino is inspired by Flemish masters

THOMAS ADAMSON AP Fashion Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- It was the white collars and sublime colors of Vermeer's masterpiece "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" on the mood board for Valentino's ready-to-wear show in Paris on Tuesday.

Using the Flemish masters as a starting point for fall-winter 2013-14, designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli delivered a more varied silhouette than last season in vase, trapeze, tulip and column shaped. It was a welcome change.

"It's for different women for different moments," said Piccioli of the collection which featured Dutch floral patterns, rich reds and royal blue.

Short-skirted, sexy looks signaled a slight relaxing for the house known for its austere edge. And, incredibly, some short looks cut with a cool circular edge pattern in red, pale pink, green and blue even came across sporty.

But this is Valentino.

The high white Flemish-style collar and frequent full-length sleeves ensured this was not forgotten.

"It's severity with the idea of sensuality," Chiuri said.

Not all the looks worked. A red dress with white fur collar looked overly theatrical -- but this was unimportant, given the show's rich pickings.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP