When the fashion-obsessed and Hollywood stars see a gown with the right dose of femininity and glamour in the perfect shade of red, they immediately know it is Valentino.
The design house's namesake, Italian-born Valentino Garavani, announced his retirement in 2007, but not before creating a loyal following of A-list icons that would last well beyond his years as full-time designer. Valentino is one of the few labels that can claim a lineage of fashion-know-it-alls as fans; from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor to Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow, these stars have donned his designs for some of the most important moments of their lives. In fact, Jackie O, Jennifer Lopez and Anne Hathaway were all married in gowns by the fashion genius. And all throughout 2012, stars like Cameron Diaz, Michelle Williams, and Jessica Alba donned his gowns to make fab red carpet style statements.
After Valentino's retirement, Alessandra Facchinetti took over, only to be replaced after two ready-to-wear seasons by current designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. The year leading up to the legendary designer's final days at the head of his house were documented in the 2008 film Valentino: The Last Emperor.