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April 24 2014

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Blasblog: Valentino Toasts Marina Cicogna’s Glamour Shots

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Perhaps it’s a reaction to the still bleak economy, but many visitors we spoke to at the Frieze Art Fair in London this year were a touch disappointed with the lack of pretty pictures. That is, until they arrived at the Little Black Gallery in Chelsea on Friday night, where Marina Cicogna’s glossy black-and-whites of the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, and Catherine Deneuve were hanging. “It’d be hard to get more glamorous than these, no?” asked Valentino Garavani. “These pictures are of one of the most beautiful, special times in history.” Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Tamara Beckwith, Rupert Everett, and Andrea Dellal were all inclined to agree.

After the opening, Valentino’s business partner Giancarlo Giammetti invited those pretty people back to his Cadogan Square flat for an intimate buffet dinner. And we mean intimate. “I can’t believe how hands-on Valentino is,” said Malin Akerman, in London for the U.K. premiere of her new film Couples Retreat, as she was led to dinner by the perma-tanned retiree himself. “Now look,” she pointed out. “He’s standing by the buffet making sure everyone gets their food.” The small group, which grew to include Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, André Balazs, Larry Gagosian, and Tim Jefferies, adjourned from an upstairs apartment where cocktails were served to a recently acquired downstairs apartment also filled with an impressive series of Warhols and Richard Princes. “I think they got this place just because they needed more wall space,” joked a younger reveler to his friends. Although Giammetti assured us such wasn’t the case—he aims to one day connect the two apartments into one large home—it was pretty clear he’s one person who doesn’t have trouble finding pretty pictures.

Photo: Marina Cicogna/Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery, London

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