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valentino red dressValentino is an Italian luxury fashion label founded by Valentino Garavani and his friend and business partner Giancarlo Giametti in 1962. Valentino was famed for his many luxurious and opulent dresses and gowns, and his designs were adored by European Royalty and American socialites. Valentino designed wedding dresses for both Jackie O and J-Lo, a fabulous achievement showing how his designs have kept pace with ever changing fashions. Other celebrity clients of his have included Julia Roberts and Elizabeth Hurley. Valentino is particularly adept at designing red carpet gowns for the Hollywood Elite.

After many successful years owning the Valentino company, the partnership sold out for about £150 million to an Italian company who also part owned Fiat cars. The business was sold again and is now owned by Marzotto Apparel, a textile company based in Milan.

In June 2007, celebrations were held in Rome to celebrate forty-five years of Valentino fashions. At the celebration, Valentino displayed his latest collection of couture dresses and received a standing ovation from many other fashion designers who attended, including Karl Lagerfield, Giorgio Armani and Carolina Herrera. However, in September 2007, Valentino announced he would retire after his October 2008 Haute Couture fashion show in Paris.

The new creative director appointed at Valentino was Alessandra Facchinetti, formally of Gucci. However, she was fired after her Spring 2009 collection, and now Maria Grazia Chiuri and Peir Paolo Piccioli, formerly accessories designers for Valentino, are joint creative directors.

Valentino Linen DressWhere can I buy Valentino dresses online?

Matches Fashion have an exclusive selection of Valentino dresses, gowns, tops and shoes, available for purchase online. Worldwide shipping is available on all items, with a VAT refund for citizens with delivery addresses outside of the European Union. You can also find some sale items here.

Yoox also have Valentino fashions on sale from the Spring Summer 2009 (current season) and Autumn Winter 2009 / 2010 (next season) collections. Items from this season are discounted by as much as 80% in the sale. In addition to dresses, the items on sale include formal trousers, tops, blazers, shirts, knitwear, sunglasses, bags and shoes.

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