2011 July 7

Natalia’s Love Ball Extravaganza!

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Natalia Vodianova, Valentino Natalia Vodianova, Valentino
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(PARIS) The crème de la crème of society chicettes were feeling the love last night at fashion designer Valentino Garavani’s 17th century château located outside of Paris, as guests of super, Natalia Vodianova, at her Love Ball fundraiser for her Naked Heart Foundation. Arriving early to the cocktail showcasing Valentino’s personal photo archives, Anna Dello Russo--dressed in vintage Roberto Cavalli from her personal archives--gushed, “Tonight is all about fairy tales, princesses and castles!” Patrick Demarchelier was equally thrilled, exclaiming, “It’s a wonderful evening: a gorgeous place with glamorous people dressed up. Natalia has the most beautiful dress.” Vodianova was a showstopper in a magical red Valentino robe, complete with glittering tiara atop her head. Olivier Echaudemaison, creative director at Guerlain and leading the makeup team for the fashion show of the evening, was all praises for his hostess, “First, it’s exciting to be in this beautiful place. And second, it’s wonderful for Natalia. She’s a great girl; she has fantastic spirit and a great soul. You want to give your best for a lady like Natalia.”

Anne Hathaway, a member of the event’s executive committee, couldn’t wait to explain her involvement, saying, “I was planning to attend as a guest and then a few weeks ago Mr. [Giancarlo] Giametti and Natalia asked me if I wouldn’t mind MCing the event, and you know, how could you say no! It’s such an important charity and Natalia is so inspiring, so of course I said yes.” Hathaway was full of excitement about her summer plans, sharing, “I’m working! Endlessly and gratefully. I’m working on the new Batman film and then every chance I get I will steal away and try to go someplace fun.”

The red carpet photographers broke into chants of “altesse!” when Crown Princess Mette-Merit of Norway arrived, as she skimmed passed the photo core to greet Pucci designer Peter Dundas. Suzy Menkes was spotted taking pictures with Mario Testino as Derek Blasberg and Vanessa Traina arrived arm in arm. Milling around Garavani’s dovecote turned archive gallery, Margherita Maccapani Missoni, Eugenie Niarchos and Tatiana Santo Domingo were a lovely trio in Valentino, with Missoni exclaiming, “I’m really looking forward to having fun tonight!” Discussing summer plans, a Chloé clad Eva Herzigova shared, “I just had a baby so I can’t wait to relax and take it easy at home.” Julie Restoin-Roitfeld, dressed in vintage Galliano, was abuzz about leaving for Croatia on Friday, mentioning discreetly afterwards that she would soon have some collaboration projects to announce, saying, “I don’t want to talk too much about it because I don’t want to jinx it, but one of them is lingerie, and it’s my favorite, favorite thing!” Joining fellow designers Ricardo Tisci, Tommy Hilfiger, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, Christian Louboutin, dressed in custom blue shoes, arrived with a jovial Farida Khelfa on his arm, breaking into Portuguese when discussing their summer plans in Portugal. Waiting for couture to end for summer holidays to begin, Cameron Silver was planning to head to Provence after today’s Alaïa presentation, he added, “I’d really like to meet Valentino tonight, I’m at his house after all! I guess I’m in the right neighborhood.”

Arriving with the ever-stylish Daphne Guinness, fashionable milliner Philip Treacy shared, “Daphne is my couture highlight for this year. Actually, couture is pretence and Daphne is definitely not pretence.” Also sharing couture highlights was larger-than-life André Leon Talley, still in raptures from the Chanel haute couture presentation the evening before, rhapsodizing, “Karl Lagerfeld’s collection was the sum total of perfection. Everything was magical. His work makes a trip to Paris worthwhile. Dress number 27 was one of the most extraordinary dresses that I’ve ever seen in my entire fashion career. A navy blue dress embroidered by hand. There were just beautiful, beautiful ideas in ever dress.” Talley’s personal couture highlight was closer to heart, as he described watching Anna Wintour’s inception into the French Legion of Honor, “the ceremony at the Elysées was beautiful and her speech at the American Embassy was very touching. It was quite special.”  

Waiting inside, a dapper Bryan Ferry was preparing to entertain the crowds after a 45-look fashion show, with party goers dancing into the wee hours of the night to Groove Armada and Andy Cato. A love-ly affair indeed. 

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