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Fall Fashion Preview

Go for baroque: Carmen Marc Valvo's moody fall theme is built around new shoe collection

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Carmen Marc Valvo, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, February 2013
Black striped lace blouse, sparkle tweed gathered skirt and Elsie patent leather Mary Jane. Photo courtesy of H.H. Brown Shoe Company
Carmen Marc Valvo, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, February 2013
Black leather and lace embroidered cocktail dress with Beth black suede ankle boots. Photo Courtesy of H.H. Brown Shoe Company
Carmen Marc Valvo, Mara shoe, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, February 2013
Carmen Marc Valvo Calzature Beth shoe Photo Courtesy of H.H. Brown Shoe Company
Fashion Week fall 2013, Carmen Marc Valvo
Carmen Marc Valvo cassis chinchilla vest and black dual satin gored skirt Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Fashion Week fall 2013, Carmen Marc Valvo
Carmen Marc Valvo black sequined tulle bodice with merlot tridescent taffeta skirt an black sequined tulle pant Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Fashion Week fall 2013, Carmen Marc Valvo
Backstage at the Carmen Marc Valvo show, left, model in black striped lace blouse, sparkle tweed gathered skirt and Elsie patent leather Mary Jane. Model on right in black leather and shaved milk quilted coat, black caviar beaded skirt and Beth black suede ankle boots Photo courtesy of NARS
Fashion Week fall 2013, designer Carmen Marc Valvo
Valvo waves to the audience at the end of his show. Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Carmen Marc Valvo, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, February 2013
Carmen Marc Valvo, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, February 2013
Carmen Marc Valvo, Mara shoe, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, February 2013
Fashion Week fall 2013, Carmen Marc Valvo
Fashion Week fall 2013, Carmen Marc Valvo
Fashion Week fall 2013, Carmen Marc Valvo
Fashion Week fall 2013, designer Carmen Marc Valvo

NEW YORK — Most designers are inspired by a color, a feeling or a recent vacation that sparks their creativity. For Carmen Marc Valvo, this fall is all about shoes.

The longtime designer, a Houston favorite, built his new collection around a new line of footwear, Carmen Marc Valvo Calzature, that will arrive in stores in September.

Because he designed the shoes first, "this collection is backwards a little bit," Valvo confessed to a select audience at the American Express Skybox at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week after his runway show ended. "With shoes, you have to work six months in advance of even the clothing, so we wanted to base it in black. With the girls, you never know what shoe size they are, if you base it in black, you don't have to worry about it."

 "I wanted it to be rich. It started out with Oscar Wilde and then it morphed into Mozart, Edgar Allan Poe and a little bit of rock and roll." 

He created a moody collection that gives a nod to baroque and punk themes. "I wanted it to be rich. It started out with Oscar Wilde and then it morphed into Mozart, Edgar Allan Poe and a little bit of rock and roll," he said.

Indeed, the sensual collection includes leather skirts in a baroque pattern, gowns with alligator insets and cocktail dresses of patent leather square tile embroidery. As promised the collection is mostly black, with touches of dark purple and burgundy, and one red baroque embroidered gown as an exclamation point.

The runway show featured three shoe styles from Valvo's collection: Beth, a feminine bootie accented with mesh; Elsie, a patent leather Mary Jane with double strap and pointed closure; and Mara, a pointed toe pump with a double wrap ankle strap.

Valvo, who was at the AmEx Skybox with 666 Park Avenue actress Helena Mattsson, told the audience he has been interested in fashion since age 7, but his father, a doctor, and mother, a nurse, wanted him to become a plastic surgery. In a way, he fulfilled their dream.

"I use a needle and thread," he said, "but I do it in a less invasive manner."

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