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"A Walk on the Wild Side"

Valentino's New L.A. Outpost Opens

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Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli   
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The house of Valentino is turning 50 this year, and to celebrate, the current creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, have planned continent-spanning festivities. First came last month's boutique opening on Via Montenapoleone in Milan, followed by a lavish dinner party at the Palazzo Crespi. Come September fashion week, they'll fête a new New York boutique. But last night, the designers were in L.A. to cut the ribbon at their Beverly Hills flagship. Designed by their frequent collaborator, the British architect David Chipperfield, the Rodeo Drive location is the first U.S. outpost to feature the brand's new retail concept. "L.A. is all about glamour, about celebrity, and that is very close to the ideas of Valentino," explained Piccioli, before Chiuri jumped in: "The idea of the store is the palazzo, where we work in Rome."

Among a Hollywood-heavy crowd that included Minka Kelly, Abigail Spencer, and Molly Sims was the designer Rachel Roy, who made a left coast appearance to toast the designers. "I love being able to see other brands and all the work that goes into it, especially the greats." She also came to shop. "I want those studded baby heels," she confessed.

To commemorate the special occasion, Chiuri and Piccioli also revealed their 50th anniversary capsule collection, inspired in part by Valentino Garavani's original "animalia" prints from the sixties and seventies. Of the five complete looks, available exclusively in the U.S. at the Beverly Hills flagship, Chiuri explained: "We wanted to use the prints in a re-edition, not as vintage, but in a very Valentino way." To which Piccioli finished, "It's like taking a walk on the wild side—in a very elegant way."

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