Valentin Yudashkin found a way of rejuvenating his Paris show — without even being there. His daughter and baby grandson took the bow after a collection that felt youthful and easy, from its opening all-white pieces to the sparkling evening outfits that were still more dresses than grand gowns.
Over the last few seasons, the Russian designer has let daylight into his shows — metaphorically speaking. A tailored trouser suit, a weekend jacket with stretch pants or even a simply shaped short dress with a cut out surface, looked like clothes that a smart young woman could — and would — wear for daytime rather than after dark.
Bringing walking shoes to the pavement, meant that this early part of the show seemed purposeful and modern. By the time the Yudashkin baby is going to nursery school, his mother will have a chic, but effortless, wardrobe.
The range of smart casual clothes was wide and varied, with a simple mid-calf dress, worn with flat sandals, emblematic of the new look. But Yudashkin could never turn his back entirely on colour — nor on the beautifully-made glamour gowns.
They came for the spring/summer 2017 season with a sequinned twinkle on the surface of brief dresses and more dramatic bodice trimmings for a red carpet gown.
But perhaps the strongest message from Yudashkin came when nude-coloured dresses — soft, long and bias cut — had delicate lines slit through the bodice in a criss-cross of tiny openings. It was an example of a designer making something graceful, elegant and so right for now.