This Was Then: Valentino’s 30th Anniversary Exhibition in New York

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Valentino, Sophia Loren, and Giancarlo Giametti make an entrance at the Gala Opening of the retrospective exhibition, "Valentino Thirty Years of Magic." September 22, 1992.

Today we’re re-running a Social History from Mary Hilliard’s archive from September 1992, the opening of Valentino’s 30th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition at the Park Avenue Armory. It was such a glamorous affair that we first ran it as a retrospective in 2010. Today we return to it. It is now a piece of New York’s social history, of time now gone by, but includes many of our citizens today … as you will see, and enjoy the moment.

The evening was a black tie celebration, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Placido Domingo and featuring Valentino and his partner Giancarlo Giametti and their friend Sophia Loren.

We chose this piece to run because aside from the pleasure of seeing some of the guests, especially the women, dressing for a great designer’s event and dinner party, it’s now an element of that time in our history — not so long ago, yet far and away. In the time that has elapsed from then to now, the world has changed dramatically in so many ways that much of the past seems oddly innocent in retrospect.

And in this case, it’s a feast for the eye — creative or otherwise.

Valentino and Sophia Loren.

Mary’s recollection of the night: Pouring rain did nothing to deter the hundreds of guests pouring into the Park Avenue Armory for Valentino’s 30th Anniversary Retrospective Celebration. Socialites, celebrities and fashion industry stalwarts wore black and white as directed on the rose-trimmed invitation. Contrary to the usual custom, guests helped themselves to a buffet dinner before sitting at tables decorated with pink roses and tiny herb topiary trees. Everyone danced and no one began to head home until one o’clock — uncharacteristically late for this crowd.

The paparazzi awaiting the arrivals of the gilded guests.
L. to r.: Wallis Franken and Steven Meisel; Alba Clemente.
L. to r.: Carolina Herrera and Carolina Herrera Jr.; Carolina Herrera and Reinaldo Herrera.
L. to r.: Amy Fine Collins and Hamish Bowles; Annette de la Renta talking to Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.
L. to r.: Ann Jones; Brooke Shields with Valentino.
The table decor.
L. to r.: Martin and Audrey Gruss; Judy Taubman; Linda Evangelista.
L. to r.: Carolyne Roehm and Placido Domingo; Chessy Rayner and Bill Blass.
Oscar, Brooke, Valentino, Sophia, and Placido.
L. to r.: Christy Turlington and Princess Rosario of Bulgaria;Dalma.
L. to r.: Elizabeth Peabody and Judy Peabody; Katie Ridder and Peter Pennoyer.
L. to r.: Kelly and Calvin Klein; Lipsinka and Valentino.
Beppe Modenese, Eleanor Lambert, and Joe Ciccio.
L. to r.: Patty Cisneros (right); Placido Domingo and Claudia Schiffer.
L. to r.: Ralph and Rickie Lauren; Valentino, Sophia Loren, and Giancarlo Giammetti.
Henryk and Barbara de Kwiatkowski with Valentino.
L. to r.: Princess Rosario of Bulgaria; Anne Slater.
Tatiana von Furstenburg.
The dinner scene.
Nati Abascal.
Bette Midler greets Giancarlo Giammetti and dances with Valentino …
L. to r.: Francesco Scavullo and Diane von Furstenburg; Valentino and Doris Brynner.

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