Valentino is the king of high fashion, ruling over one of the richest fashion empires in the world. For 45 years, Mr. Valentino has designed some of the most gorgeous clothing ever to grace the human body. Icons like Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana made his designs world renowned. Today, the most famous stars in the world won't set a foot on the red carpet without consulting Valentino first.
Even Oprah wore her first Valentino gown to the Emmys in 1994. "I loved it so much, I told Gayle that I wanted to be buried in it," says Oprah.
Here, Naomi Campbell is wearing a dress supermodel Elle Macpherson wore for Valentino's 40th anniversary in design celebration. It took one woman about one month to sew all the beads on by hand!
Naomi Campbell has been modeling Mr. Valentino's designs since she was 17 years old. "There's nobody like Mr. Valentino," says Naomi. "He is the last maestro. Each dress of Valentino is like a jewel.
"My relationship with Valentino is not just being a model and walking for him. He's actually someone I get to hang out with, have dinner with. He doesn't miss a thing. Valentino and myself have incredible memories...and I just want to say I hope I have many more great memories with you, Mr. Valentino."
This is the vintage Valentino Julia Roberts wore when she won the Oscar® for best actress for Erin Brockovich in 2001. Mr. Valentino insisted that Julia keep the original; model Karolina Kurkova is wearing a special recreation.
"[Valentino] loves women, and you can see that," says Karolina. "All the women who wear Valentino, they smile. And that's what it's all about."
His legendary designs are as timeless-looking and chic today as they were almost a half a century ago. Jackie Kennedy, who Valentino credits for making him famous, first wore this dress in 1965. Heads turned again when Jennifer Lopez wore it to the Oscars® in 2003.
Halle Berry wore this red and white Valentino dress with tiny roses to the Golden Globes®. "It was the perfect dress," Halle says.
You may have seen this classic Valentino signature red dress on Jennifer Aniston. The original dress was part of Valentino's first collection in 1960.
Mr. Valentino was Gwyneth Paltrow's escort the night she wore this dazzling, embroidered black lace gown to the Venice Film Festival in 2002.
"Valentino is, he's a very, very dear friend to me," says Gwyneth Paltrow. "He's just the most elegant, refined, secretly hilarious man. He lives like nobody else in the world. He is so good to his friends. He's so talented."
Gwyneth is forever grateful Valentino and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti were by her side when her father, Bruce Paltrow, passed away. "When my father died, we were in Rome and those two men saved my life. They were calling the consulate and they were helping me, you know, translate autopsy reports and getting me back home. I will forever love those men like they're family. I mean, they are just extraordinary people."
Valentino says this dress was inspired by an Indian carpet and part of a winter collection. Kate Hudson wore this dress to a Golden Globes® ceremony.
Cate Blanchette wore this gown to the 2003 Golden Globes®.
Jennifer Garner stole the show at this year's Oscars® in this spectacular Valentino vintage dress that Karolina is modeling.
Here's Naomi Campbell in a wild gown that Halle Berry wore on the cover of In Style magazine.
"When I think of some of the highlights of my career, I've usually had on a fabulous Valentino dress," says Halle Berry. "My first Valentino was a lavender dress that I wore for my first experience at the Academy Awards®. His dresses just fit my body. Sometimes I have a little more junk in my trunk that I care to talk about, so the way his dresses are cut, I think, makes a real woman's body look good.
"So, thank you, Mr. Valentino, for 45 years of making women look gorgeous, feel sexy, really just feel as glamorous as women always want to feel. Thank you very much. And here's to at least 40 more."
Special thanks to makeup maven Sue Devitt for doing all our models' makeup. Visit www.suedevittstudio.com to learn more about her products.
And special thanks to celebrity hair stylist Frédéric Fekkai for styling all our models' hair. Visit www.fredericfekkai.com to learn more about his styling products. The Fashion Show Continues!Valentino's ready-to-wear main lineThe Roma and Red Collections
Published on October 20, 2004