Valentino Resort 2013 via style.com
Red Valentino RTW Fall 2013 via wwd.com

Images via style.com and wwd.com

Last year, I had a love affair with anything and everything created by Balmain (feel free to reminisce with me here and here). It really took off when I spied Selena Gomez sporting that embroidered lambskin top on the cover of Elle Magazine US’s July ‘12 issue. Feeding my new found obsession with embellishment and embroidery, Balmain went from something not frequently on my radar to a daily browse/pin/collection of my favourite looks (basically everything, particularly the Fall ‘12 and Resort ‘13 collections). I have since noted I was not the only one inspired, with images popping up in just about any issue of Elle between the middle and end of the year. Further, the intricate details, stripes, and chains seemed to spill over into mainstream retail, moving me to purchase a form-fitting, screen-printed version from Topshop late last October. Then, the Spring ‘13 shows happened and while I cannot deny the items looked amazing, I must admit, I wasn’t really taken with it all (and certainly felt much less inspired)… I do hold out hope and look forward to seeing what Fall ‘13 will bring…

In the meantime, Valentino hit my radar with the studded flats I spotted in Holt Renfrew late last summer and grew into something more when I read a feature on creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli in Marie Claire’s Dec ‘12 issue, which pictured some of the items from the Resort ‘13 collection. And just like that, my breath was taken away again. The pastels are stunning, with the hot pinks and pale yellows being absolutely perfect for the type of spring look I have in mind. My love was re-affirmed when I watched Ariel Winter on the Golden Globes red carpet last month wearing my favourite look. I figured the urge to over-indulge in everything Valentino was a particular effect of this beautiful collection and one of my favourite handbags I’ve ever seen but then Spring ‘13 Couture was shown and it was (obviously) stunning. Still obsessing over Resort ‘13, Women’s Wear Daily offered me a new way to feed my latest addiction by introducing me to REDValentino’s Fall 2013 RTW Collection. Much in the same vein of the Spring/Summer ‘13 designs, the beautiful colours and prints are almost whimsical and woodland fairy-esque. I am worshiping the flowers and bows, and the pale, sheer lace of the Spring looks, and the embroidery, quilted jackets and skirts, and knee socks of the Fall looks. I am also loving the soft fairytale-like cartoon theme of the label’s website. These looks cater to one of my favourite images of sweet, soft, innocent, young, and feminine - something I first fell for on a trip to Tokyo in December 2008. I completely adore this fresh, garden party/high tea chic style.

While Balmain certainly has left a lasting impact on me, Valentino is currently filling the role of my true love… And it leaves me wondering, is it the label or a particular set of looks - like embroidered dresses - that make my heart skip a beat? Check out two of my favourite collections: Resort 2013 and Red Valentino Fall 2013 RTW.