Couture probably isn’t something you need to follow very closely unless you’re an oligarch (or related to one), have recently won the lottery or just like to look at pretty things. We fall into the latter category.  Couture shows for Autumn/Winter 2013 have been taking place, so now’s the time to choose favourite pieces and start putting together your wardrobe for the coming season. Or just appreciate the exceptional beauty of exquisite pieces that probably cost more than your entire wardrobe put together. Ahem.

“Flowers and colors are what women want from me,”  Giambattista Valli told the assembled throng before the show got underway. His point of inspiration was actually a little more mundane: china plates from Wedgwood, Sèvres and Meissen. Accented with fine embroidery and scattered with cascades of delicate corsages, the level of detail and skilled craftsmanship was evident on every single supremely elegant piece. Opening with a soft palette of blue, white and palest dove grey, before moving on to dramatic, floor-sweeping gowns in deep scarlet and striking daffodil yellow, it was a dreamy, truly dazzling collection. Excuse us while we go and buy that lottery ticket.

Giambattista Valli 2

“You shall go to the ball, Cinderella!”

Giambattista Valli 1

For more coverage and images of the couture shows, see Style.com