On the final day of Haute Couture Week, Maria Grazia Chiurli and Pier Paolo Piccioli were back in the saddle for another round of couture for the house of Valentino. For their Autumn / Winter 2012 Haute Couture Collection, the designer duo opened their show with a stream of midnight blue evening dresses in silk chiffon, sheer panelling, and soft pleats. These were enclosed by matching long and short capes made from crepe.

Each look stuck to a fairly minimalist approach, and included hints of sci-fi and futurism. Inspired by French symbolist painter, Gustave Moreau, Chiurli and Piccioli made particular note of his "love of dark colours." This influence worked in contrast to elegant ethereal gowns created from sculptured brocade, beading detail, painted floral prints, embroideries and fur. Then there was the fairy floss pink and Valentino's signature red ball gowns which were clearly aimed straight at the red carpet crowd. Other highlights of this collection were the tailored yellow trouser suits, beaded cardigans, embellished jumpsuits, knee-length shift dresses, low-heel square-toe ballerina pumps, and a plethora of velvet pieces transformed into wearable clothing - something that is rarely seen on a couture catwalk.

The front row at Valentino was bustling with a string of celebrities such as Clémence Poésy, Olivia Palermo, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

[Images: Valentino Facebook page]