Thursday, October 04, 2007

Gai xinh - Beauty girl 07

Models in bright cocktail dresses and long gowns in his signature red, or with polka dots and ruffles, glided down a mirrored catwalk before twirling in front of the cameras.

Party music accompanied the show, with the models dancing at the end and guests rising for the obligatory standing ovation.

One of the undisputed kings of fashion, Valentino will retire in January after a final haute couture show and hand the reins to relatively unknown designer Alessandra Facchinetti.

"This is the one before the last and I want to do my best, and why not?" the 75-year-old Valentino asked.

"I am full of joy and a little emotional of course, and I am very strong because as I told you ... I leave the room, but the room is still full."

His departure follows the sale of his Valentino Fashion Group to the European private equity group Permira, which industry insiders have said want a younger, more innovative designer to help it expand to new markets.

Anna Piaggi of Italian Vogue thought it was time for a change, saying Valentino needed some new ideas.

"It's boring," she said after the show. "It's not good, it's not modern. Why do we constantly say it's beautiful? Why?"


Valentino's signature scarlet evening gowns have long made him a hit for red carpet events, where he has dressed famous names like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and Julia Roberts. His conservative style still attracts many fans.

"It's very definitely the end of an era. Valentino is irreplaceable," said Hilary Alexander, fashion director at Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"He understands his customers, he has a respect for women and a lifelong appreciation of beauty."

Valentino is widely ranked alongside Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld as the last of the great designers from an era before fashion became a global, highly commercial industry run as much by accountants and marketing executives as the couturiers.