We’re rounding the corner into another couture week, and in digging around I realized that we’re coming up on 14 years since Valentino himself sent clothes down the runway. You will enjoy seeing a young Blake Lively, and the cape Lucy Liu wore, in addition to the collection itself. The Vogue review is interesting:

What he showed was a fitting conclusion to 45 years of celebrating the happy side of femininity and—at least for one young woman in the audience—a lesson in technique, joie de vivre, and the principles of old-school glamour. The woman in question: Alessandra Facchinetti, the ex-Gucci designer who, from now on, will carry the Valentino flame. […] If Facchinetti captures that pristine state of fashion loveliness and turns it in a modern direction, she’ll be heading on the right path.

Narrator: She wasn’t. Or, if even she was, a few specific people didn’t care for it. Facchinetti was fired shortly thereafter — allegedly, she found out about it via the press — for not being reverent enough of the Valentino archives, apparently? Valentino himself released a statement criticizing this. It’s VERY messy. But there are a lot of brands out there who’ve taken a hit by hiring a new designer who then makes things go bananas — hi, Burberry — and so in that sense I guess you have to respect the guy for cleaning house before it was too late. Even if his method was harsh.

And honestly, some of this is pretty, but a LOT of it is pastel in a way that really does feel dated. Which it is, of course, but if the idea was timeless glamour, then I think the clock was ticking a bit more than he realized on several of these. We don’t have pics of the entire collection; I think it’s a little over half, and most of the interesting stuff. If you want to see the whole thing, Vogue has it.

[Photos: Shutterstock; Miquel Benitez/Shutterstock, Dominique Charriau/WireImage, Jacques Brinon/AP/Shutterstock, Karl Prouse/Catwalking/Getty Images, FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP via Getty Images]