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
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.

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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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