Valentino marks 45th anniversary of design house in Rome

ROME, July 7, 2007 (AFP) -Italian fashion designer Valentino marked the 45th anniversary of his design house on Saturday, July 7th, breaking with tradition and unveiling his haute couture collections for women in Rome instead of Paris.

Valentino - Photo : Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The 75 year-old Valentino sent 60 of his creations, mostly evening wear for autumn-winter 2007-8, down an extra-long catwalk a stone's throw from the Vatican's Saint Peter's Square.

The designer invited around 1,000 guests, including actresses Uma Thurman and Sarah Jessica Parker and models Claudia Schiffer and Elle McPherson.

His work included reinterpretations of the "White Collection" that brought him recognition in 1968 and dresses in "Valentino red," the colour he has often worked in.

Valentino, dressed in an impeccable white suit, was wildly applauded.

Asked at a press conference on Friday, July 6th whether he would permanently return his collections to Rome, Valentino said that he had not yet made up his mind.

The designer opened his first studio in Rome in 1959 and made his name with his first collection presented in Florence a decade later.

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