Fashion, like Hollywood is a very fickle world. A person can become an overnight success and then fade into oblivion without a thought. Only a handful of designers ever make it into the history books, the ones who become legends in their own time. Valentino is one such designer.
The perennially tan gentleman whose style is delineated by clean lines, minimal detail, and elegant forms has taken these elements and built himself an empire, becoming a global icon in the process. It is these qualities of his that enabled him to dress women such as Halle Berry, Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger, Sandra Bullock and the late Princess Diana. He has designed the wedding gowns of two Onassis women: Jacqueline Kennedy for her marriage to Aristotle Onassis and Athina Onassis. Although it’s women’s couture for which he is most known, his fashion house also includes a ready-to-wear line, mens line, accessories and fragrances.
The tribute to Valentino’s almost half a century in the business is believed to be the most sought-after ticket of the year. The guest list is a who’s who of modern-day royalty, Hollywood glitterati and European designers, all of whom arrived to pay homage to one of Italy’s national treasures. Guests included Claudia Schiffer, Natasha Richardson, Elle MacPherson, Karl Lagerfeld, Elizabeth Hurley, Manolo Blahnik, Princess Caroline and Prince Ernst, Mario Testino and David Furnish. Trolling the red carpet were several hot stars, but the standouts were Anne Hathaway, Uma Thurman, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Claire Danes.
All Grown Up
Actress Anne Hathaway made her film debut in The Princess Diaries, playing a girl named Mia who learns she’s a princess by birth and finds her life turned upside down by this discovery. And while most young girls would find it hard to do, Hathaway gives it her all without coming off as OTT. Not an easy thing to do on film, much less the red carpet where the paps’ lenses are all on you. Her next film, The Devil Wears Prada, where she plays assistant to editor Meryl Streep, captured more of ingénue Anne’s simplicity, and that’s what we like about her- flawless skin and looks, but a head uninflated by Hollywood! No wonder she was one of 2006’s 50 Most Beautiful.
For the Valentino tribute, Anne goes for a time-honored fave with another black design. But at least she knows what works, and is one of the few young stars not to flaunt a thigh-high hemline or a recurring alcohol habit. Indeed, her inner and outer style can’t be beat. Back to the outfit, the short black-and-gold dress, gold clutch and ribbon-tie sandals give her an elegance above the rest. The styled hair and luminous glow all give her an ethereal quality that not many have in Tinseltown. Something to be said about not overstressing your liver! Lady Anne lights up the carpet, not with a flashy dress sense, but just good taste and great set of gams. Simply gorgeous.
Uma Thurman shares her name with a Hindu goddess, so we guess it’s only fair that she looks like one. The thirtysomething star of Dangerous Liaisons, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill has something of an exotic childhood. The daughter of a former model and a Buddhist scholar, she divided her time between India and the US and calls the Dalai Lama a family friend. Talented Uma then became a model herself and stormed Hollywood in one film after another. A current pitchwoman for Louis Vuitton, Uma married and divorced actors Gary Oldman and Ethan Hawke before a relationship with hotelier Andre Balazs, which ended just recently.
In this sleeveless high-necked gown with matching strappy sandals and slit on the side, Uma pulls out all the stops. What we love most, is how well the dress drapes to the side, giving her just enough definition but not so much that we forget who’s wearing it. When you’re a mother of two and still radiant on the red carpet, you must be doing something right! Not to be stopped by her past cinematic glory, she in the running for a Bollywood film with one of their brightest leading men. Well played, Uma.
Sarah Jessica Parker can basically write her own ticket in the film industry. All because of a star turn as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Watching Sarah in her Manolos week after week, we idolized her. Not just her character’s attitude, her dress sense, but the whole package. With a fragrance, her own clothing line, and Emmys as actress and producer under her belt, SJP can do no wrong. The fashionista seems to move from strength to strength. Star Sarah previously dated JFK Jr. (who was known for his love of leggy blondes), Robert Downey Jr., before marrying Matthew Broderick. She likes to split her time between homes in New York and Ireland, not a bad life we must say.
While our take on her career is positive, we’re not so sure about her outfit. It’s arguably the most unusual look in the entire tribute no doubt. But we guess that is typical Ms. Sarah, someone following her own heart. The short gold dress with long puffy sleeves and high neckline, make us recall a previous movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare In Love where the young blonde sported a costume not unlike what the Parkster is wearing here. All she needs is some frills around the neck and an out-to-there crinoline and she could play an extra in the next period film. But then again, it is a homage to Mr. Valentino, who loves grandeur so why not?
And now, the best for last. Claire Danes refreshed us with this stunningly classic look, a sleeveless white-on-white polka dot dress with tied black bow and T-strap heels. Not only does the dress shine on her, but she wisely pairs it with natural makeup. Who says summer frocks have to be revealing? All this outfit says is “hot!”
The former Golden Globe winner starred in tv’s “My So-Called Life” before moving to the big time with flicks The Hours and Terminator 3 and The Mod Squad. Danes in one of the few young stars who can drift between comedy and drama, making her a rare commodity in H-wood. Her affairs with actors Billy Crudup and Matt Damon behind her, Danes is now with Hugh Dancy, her costar in Evening, according to a recent showing on Letterman. The actress seems to prefer boyish-looking men, but she could do a lot worse than Dancy, whom she attended the tribute with.
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