2010 July 8

Viva Valentino

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Natalia Vodianova, Claire Danes, Jesica Alba Natalia Vodianova, Claire Danes, Jesica Alba
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(PARIS) When it came to the final day of couture, it was all about Valentino. Whether it was the very intimate show at Place Vendome, put on by the current design masterminds Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, or the lavish dinner that followed thrown by Valentino at his Versailles mansion, both featured nearly the same set of characters.

The 6 p.m. show was the golden ticket for the night, featuring every EIC on the planet, every European blue blood in the social register, Natalia Vodianova, Margherita Maccapani Missoni and front row regulars like Claire Danes, Elizabeth Hurley, and Arun Nayar. And the seats were hard to come by. “This was all about giving our audience an individual and private moment, “ explained Piccioli. “Something to share and savor.”

“It’s my first non- Valentino Valentino show and of course, I’m going to see the real Valentino-Valentino tonight at his chateau,” smiled Hurley from her perch. “But I’ll see a lot more of his real soon. I'll go on a boat holiday with him, something that I both look forward to and dread. We basically have to stop eating before we arrive because we certainly can’t eat on board!” Danes donned Valentino red for the showing of the duo’s collection. “It’s a good frock!” she boasted. “Maybe it’s not ideal to wear on a ninety degree day, but it’s so worth the sacrifice!”

Afterwards, nearly everyone in sight (excluding Hurley) took the extra hour allowed by the second showing to change in their hotel, summon their trusted drivers, and make their way to Versailles for the lavish dinner to celebrate Val’s archives. In what looked like that great scene from The Last Emperor, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti (along with Carlos Souza) welcomed guests like Gwyneth Paltrow, Christian Louboutin, Marc Jacobs, Dasha Zhukova, Blake Lively, and Jessica Alba now in her own fiery scarlet number. “I was just lucky to have front row and seeing these works of art for the whole week,” she smiled as she took in her surrondings. “I loved fashion since playing with my dolls as little girl and I now I just get to play dress-up for a living.”

Speaking of that famous film, Matt Tyrnauer was back on the property, but this time as a guest of honor. “No more fighting with Valentino and Giancarlo about where the camera is and where it needs to be,” he laughed. “I guess two years of intense espionage are behind me.” And yes, he’s doing another movie. “I can’t announce my next project yet, but let’s just say I’m retiring from fashion!” he coyly revealed.  Meanwhile, we wanted to know what Hugh Dancy learned from his two days at couture as he watched a sea of gowns and plenty of air kisses. “I’ve learned that you have to work hard to look good!” quipped the actor.
VALENTINE UHOVSKI



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