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Bettina’s Take: Valentino 50th Anniversary and New Flagship Store Opening on Rodeo Drive


Valentino is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year with a redesign of several boutiques, including its Beverly Hills location.

This called for a celebration, LA style, a star-studded cocktail party with camera flashes going into overdrive. Kim Kardashian, Minka Kelly, Abigail Spencer, Jessica Szohr, Jason Lewis, Ellie Kemper, Ciara and many more came to admire the new David Chipperfield creation on Rodeo Drive.

The store combines old and new elements, with the feel of a palazzo or a private home, using opulent materials such as American walnut, mirrored glass, and Venetian terrazzo—the perfect setting to show off Valentino's spectacular collections.

"I think Valentino is very chic," Kardashian, wearing Lela Rose, told FashionEtc. "I love the new collection with the studs—it's very feminine at the same time. I've been a fan for a long time."

Nicky Hilton, who co-hosted the festivities along with Maria Bell, Gia Coppola, Helen Kinnear, Nathalie Love, Minnie Mortimer, Shannon Rotenberg, and Julia Sorkin, looked stunning in head-to-toe Valentino.

"I just got back from the show in Paris. The clothes are so beautiful, timeless and chic. It just gets better and better," said Hilton, who recently launched an app called Trendable, an Instagram for fashion.

"I am totally honored to host and am so happy to be part of this celebration," said Mortimer, a designer herself. "Valentino shows an unparalleled fashion genius and most importantly I adore wearing the clothes!"

Valentino Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli beamed as hundreds of beautiful people admired the boutique.

"We have a great collection ahead," they said, referring to winter 2012. "It will be very sleek but with a folk element. We like to balance materials, such as the dangerousness of leather with macrame and embroidery. You can't define the collection in one word, just as you can't define a woman in one word."

As guests grazed on caviar and sipped champagne, the clothes were definitely the greatest temptation. I asked Dr. Drew Pinsky if it was ok to be addicted to shopping.

"It's not ok to be addicted to shopping, but it's ok to be addicted to style," he answered cleverly.

Marveling at the rack before us, I just couldn't let it go. Maybe I was looking for permission. From Dr Drew.

"Is it ok to be addicted to THESE clothes?" I prodded.

"I wouldn't want my wife to be addicted to these clothes!" was his panic-stricken reply.

Oh well, I guess I'll have to reign myself in too. Quel dommage.

Photo: (Left to right) Abigail Spencer, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Nicky Hilton, Jessica Szohr, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Ellie Kemper