Though Pierpaolo Piccioli is still less than a year into solo tenure at the helm of Valentino, short a design partner since Maria Grazia Chiuri departed to Dior last year, he's still not short on the romance. His Spring 2017 collection was a study in blush tones, diaphanous layers, cascades of silk, and full, Romanesque silhouettes — Valentino at its most Valentino. But amid all the flou, there were a few, more minimalist looks on the Spring 2017 runway — including one that seems to have caught Dakota Johnson's eye as she prepared for the 50 Shades Darker premiere, a pastel lilac-pink gown with a plunging neckline. Earlier in the week, Johnson worked her way through looks by Gucci and Sonia Rykiel; from there, her 50 Shades press circuit seems only to be getting better by the day.

Dakota Johnson in Valentino at the premiere of 50 Shades Darker in Los Angeles, California, February 2017.

Gregg DeGuire

Who: Dakota Johnson.

When: Thursday, February 2.

Where: The Los Angeles premiere of 50 Shades Darker with Jamie Dornan at the theater at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

What: A lilac-pink pastel gown by Valentino from the Spring 2017 collection, the first solo collection from designer Pierpaolo Piccioli, with a cocktail ring, dainty earrings, a casual updo, and neutral makeup.

Why: Though this gown was one of the less-embellished looks on the runway, it makes no less of a statement, a hybrid of a daring show of skin and full, swirling skirt. It requires little embellishment; Johnson foregoes much jewelry, opts for minimalist makeup, and sweeps her hair up in a simple knot that frames her face. 50 Shades Darker might be the Valentine's Day pick of the season, but it's a romance with a definite edge — and Johnson has embraced that juxtaposition throughout this press tour, with gowns that are equal parts conservative and bold. In a fairytale Valentino, she wins yet again.

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