07/02/2012 05:03 EDT | Updated 09/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Giambattista Valli makes flora and fauna couture

PARIS - Giambattista Valli's haute couture explored the flora and fauna of Mother Nature in a cinched waisted 1950s offering for fall-winter 2012.

Models in billowing floral creations of lightweight silk organza and muslin fluttered by on Monday, some with butterflies covering their mouth.

His signature style of clothing — known to be uber-feminine — is rapidly building up a strong following among fashion's glitterati.

It was — of course — a VIP-filled front row.

"I'm dying to get into one of those dresses," gushed Jessica Stam, one of the world's highest paid models. "I just loved those butterflies."

The vibrant show was all about prints.

For the garden, tulip shaped or A-line skirts were covered in rose prints.

The silhouettes at times had a distinct feel of Christian Dior's 1950s looks — this generating, on more than one occasion, shocked gasps from fashionistas.

There were some sublime looks. In several ensembles the models' head disappeared in the voluminous, petal-like muslin ruffles.

But Valli took it too far.

One bizarre green feathered evening dress, the program notes described as "wild grass." It looked more like a hedge needing a trip.


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