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This summer, the biggest ticket of the New York social calendar is not some barefoot, beachside gala in the Hamptons, but rather a trip to Rome for Valentino’s 45th anniversary blowout. The festivities kick off Friday with a dinner for those arriving from abroad at the Richard Meier-designed Ara Pacis Museum, where a retrospective of the designer is being staged. Saturday brings the main event: a couture show, followed by a ball in the Parco dei Daini of Villa Borghese. Needless to say, an invitation to said affairs didn’t come easy (in fact, word is that one or two were rescinded), so those attending are determined to dress to impress. Lest anything is left at home, Valentino’s go-to gal Annelise Peterson stands at the ready. “I carried 35 dresses (20 of them red), 15 pairs of shoes, 10 evening bags and as much undereye cream and concealer as I could legally carry through baggage claim,” she says. Here, a few of Val’s pals share their own packing lists.
Traveling with: My boyfriend, Stuart Parr.
Transportation: Alitalia — unfortunately, Teterboro is not involved.
Luggage: Chocolate brown Globe-Trotter suitcase.
In her suitcase: As much vintage Valentino as I can find. I have been storming my mother’s closet. Also some jeans and Lanvin and Chanel ballerina flats.
Reading material: “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and “A Much Married Man” by Nicholas Coleridge.
Side trips: I am going to Greece and then to Portofino.
Most eager to see: I can’t wait to see Nati Abascal, one of Valentino’s original models, who is so full of life and has so many wonderful stories about Mr. Valentino. Santa Sabina is one of my favorite places in Rome. You can see the church through the keyhole. Pretty magical.
Traveling with: My mother. Couture has been a long-standing mother-daughter trip for us, and we are both very excited.
Transportation: By plane, ‘nuf said.
In her suitcase: I’m packing some light summer dresses and lots of strappy flats and heels (I hear it’s 105 in the shade) — Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Phillip Lim, Thakoon, Proenza, Alessandro, Valentino. I always pack way too much as it’s such a busy time, and I never know what I’m going to feel like wearing until I’m there. Oh, and also I always snag some couture from my mother’s closet to wear to some of the events.
This story first appeared in the July 3, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Reading material: Gore Vidal’s “Empire.”
Side trips: My mother and I are planning to go to a spa in Europe, after Rome, for five days together, but I’m not sure yet if it will happen.
Most eager to see: The collections. I’m always so moved by them. They are such works of art and becoming more and more rare. I’m lucky to be part of an era that still has couture as part of its culture.
Luggage: Blue T. Anthony, so I am always sure to see it at baggage claim.
In her suitcase: All Valentino clothes.
Reading material: “Evening” by Susan Minot.
Side trips: After the Valentino party, I am going to Capri to join some friends for a little vacation and some inspiration. I love the color of the emerald-green water there.
Most eager to see: Mr. Valentino!
Traveling with: I am coming from Paris with my boyfriend’s family.
Transportation: Well, we aren’t taking a train.
In her suitcase: I am going to obey the dress code as indicated on the invitation. For the Friday night dinner, I am quite sure a vintage Valentino leopard sequin strapless will be sufficiently “glamour.”
Reading material: I am reading “Five Sisters: The Langhornes of Virginia,” “Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution” and “The Diana Chronicles.” Please don’t psychoanalyze my reading choices.
Most eager to see: The Valentino exhibit.
Traveling with: Me, myself and I.
Transportation: On an airplane — Delta.
Luggage: T. Anthony.
In her suitcase: Lots of Valentino. For Friday, I’m taking a white sleeveless, high-necked gown with a side slit that’s laced up one side, and for Saturday, a vintage couture one-shoulder dress that goes from bright orange to bright red with little rosettes.
Reading material: Scripts. I’m also reading “The Heart Has Its Reasons,” the biography of the Duchess of Windsor.
Side trips: I am taking the train from Rome to Naples and then going to Capri on the hydrofoil. After that, I’m going to Madrid, and then to Ibiza for the Mango show.
Most eager to see: Apart from Valentino, Capri, where I’ve never been. I am really looking forward to seeing Tiberius’ villa there. I’ve also never been to Ibiza, so I’m looking forward to that.