Other couturiers have built small parks with real trees and bushes to display their Spring 2013 Couture collections, but Valentino's Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli used garden elements in their actual garments.
Curlicues made from tubes of red, white, or black fabric decorated everything from dresses to suits and even shoes, echoing the wrought-iron gates and fences used to tame nature in public parks. One gray dress covered in embroidered birds was paired with a black cape made from the tubing, making the model wearing it look like a mobile birdcage. Black lace was arranged on one A-line skirt to look like a garden maze, and a procession of shimmering green leaves snaked up a sheer ruffled dress.
And while every other look carried a floral embellishment or appliqué of some kind, this collection was lightweight and even breezy in some instances. That feeling owed to Chiuri and Piccioli's use of sheer fabrics and light colors. With the exception of Valentino red, the collection primarily featured whites, cream, gray, pale pink, and black. A few sleek dresses without decoration and jackets with an off-the-shoulder cut helped the offering feel modern.