Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have developed into couture’s most unabashed romantics.

For the Valentino collection they showed on Wednesday evening, their starting point was opera. Intrigued by the work of set designer Maurizio Varamo of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, they enlisted him to design the floor coverings that snaked through the salons of the Hôtel de Salomon Rothschild. Rather than one continuous motif, Varamo delivered several, laid down continuously like oversize tiles — flowers, branches, butterflies flying into the clouds. The point was uniqueness as much as fantasy.

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