Events > Paris Events > SHAHBANOU OF IRAN VIP TO VALENTINO’S ROMAN & REDDISH CELEBRATION BY DARIUS KADIVAR
Report from Associated Press Correspondent Rachel Sanderson
Haute Couture Italian Creator Valentino who has kept friendly ties with the former Shahbanou of Iran and for whom he had concieved different dress’ and garments in the past insisted on having her Majesty as V.I.P. to inaugurate an exhibition of his work in Rome Italy. Amongst the clothes exposed for the public and guests were Red gowns that have become a label of the great Master’s work. Also the fur coat worn by the former First Lady of Iran on the day of her definitive departure with her husband the Shah from Iran to exile back in 1979 was amongst some of the items of the Roman exhibit. The Former Empress expressed her admiration for the Haute Couture master. Remembering the the beige wool Valentino coat with sable collar she wore at the Mehrabad Airport said « It was a terrible day in my life and for my compatriots - but I try to look forward ».
Below is a report by Associate Press Correspondent Rachel Sanderson to Rome at the 45th Anniversary of Haute Couture Italian Creator Valentino. (Also reported in International Herald Tribune)
Valentino celebrates 45 years in fashion with Rome gala by Rachel Sanderson (AP)
ROME: It was a Midsummer Night's Dream that even Shakespeare would have had a hard time matching.
A thousand guests — many of the ladies in Valentino's best — sipping flutes of sparkling wine, as they strolled past the priceless marble sculptures of the Galleria Borghese museum, on their way to a gala ball set up under a tent in the adjacent park.
'I love you, all of you very much,' an emotional Valentino said in his champagne toast during Saturday night's event, which culminated two days of celebrations marking the designer's 45 years in fashion.
Rome hadn't seen such a bright red carpet in decades, probably since the 'Dolce Vita' 1960's, which coincided with the beginning of the 75-year-old designer's career, as golden boy of the international jet-set.
Leave it to Valentino to gather in the same room Mick Jagger — in town for a Rolling Stones concert — Princess Caroline of Monaco and family on their way to a Mediterranean cruise on their private yacht and the widow of the late Shah of Iran, Farah Pahlavi.
Among top models at the gala were Elle MacPherson and Claudia Schiffer. Actresses on hand included Uma Thurman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Hudson. Designers Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace and Tom Ford also attended, as did the fashion world's most revered and at times dreaded fashion editor, Vogue America's Anna Wintour.
And the list goes on and on.
Schiffer flaunted a gown in Valentino's trademark flaming red. Hathaway was in a black Valentino with white embroidery, while the Oscar winning actress Hudson was in Valentino brown.
'Valentino is a sweet man, a fantastic couturier, and I just hope he goes on designing for a very long time,' said Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, a longtime friend, as she walked the red carpet in a vintage Valentino red gown.
The evening's setting, by Dante Ferretti, evoked the Orient with lacquered red and black walls with gilded decorations framing the 78 tables adorned with center pieces made up of roses, hydrangeas and orchids. Waiters in guru jackets served the fish based menu on 3,500 delicate green porcelain plates, while an orchestra played high society music from the 1940's.
Pop star Annie Lennox offered the highlight with a surprise performance. Disco dancing with British DJ Laurence Steinman followed.
Friday evening, Valentino served up another gala evening in a temple in the Roman Forum, for 500 guests including former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Acrobats wearing Valentino gowns danced above the ruins, as lighting of different colors transformed the Colosseum, symbol of Imperial Rome.
Earlier Saturday, Valentino offered a brand new winter couture wardrobe of 61 outfits to a star-studded audience gathered in a former medieval convent near the Vatican. It was his first show in 17 years in the city where he began his climb to the top of the fashion ladder. Since the early 1990's Valentino has spent his fashion time between Paris and Milan.
Friday the designer opened a retrospective exhibit of his style in the glass and stone venue by Richard Meier, which encases one of ancient Rome's most sacred monuments, the Ara Pacis. The exhibit, part of which can be seen from the street, is open until the end of October 2007.
To mark his 45th anniversary, Valentino launched a new perfume that will be on the market in the fall, Rock 'n' Rose Couture.
Toasting his longtime friend, Valentino's business partner Giancarlo Giammetti recalled their first years in Rome as two penniless young men with a dream.
'Fame and fortune have not changed him. He is still the same little guy I met 45 years ago,' Giammetti said.
For More Photo's of this prestigious event on Vanity Fair Website: