Skeptics, hold your fire. Many people, and there were a lot of us, questioned the likelihood of Valentino’s Alessandra Facchinetti turning out a couture collection worthy of the name on the door. She had never apprenticed in an haute situation, with the most significant part of her résumé, her stint at Gucci under Tom Ford, all about creating luxury of the mass variety. Yet on Wednesday night Facchinetti sent out a great big “so there” in an outing as blatantly — albeit prettily — ambitious as the designer herself is charmingly gentle...

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