What was radical about the new haute couture collection under designer Pierpaolo Piccioli was just that: it wasn’t. Instead of taking the Rome-based luxury brand in a totally different direction, he worked quietly on refining his collection — and by association, the woman who wears his creations — in form and function. Silhouettes were kept clean and simple, but belied a profusion of intricate detail, whether it was in the beautiful beading or meticulous pleating of the gowns. Colours tended to gentle pastels and crisp whites, with the signature house red used to great dramatic effect in contrast. And with one masterful stroke (or stitch), a new era has been ushered in for Valentino.