NEW YORK — Tonight, the Fashion Group International will celebrate luminaries from the design community. Here, a look at the fashion designers — Valentino, Olivier Theyskens, Alberta Ferretti and Ralph Rucci — being honored.
On Tuesday morning, Valentino traveled downtown to the Bowery to make a cameo appearance in a movie. But, Valentino being Valentino, it was naturally alongside one of Hollywood's greatest actresses, Meryl Streep, and the movie was "The Devil Wears Prada."
In the scene, the designer, who hasn't read the book, received Streep backstage after his show. In more than 10 takes, he uttered, "Miranda, Miranda" (after the lead role Miranda Priestly), then asked the fictional magazine editor what she thought of the show.
"I was so honored to be on the screen with a lady who was nominated for the Oscar 13 times," Valentino said, sitting in his Manhattan apartment Tuesday afternoon. "I met Ms. Streep years ago in Los Angeles. She is a wonderful lady — so intelligent and cultivated. She is a great, great, great artist, a sensational actress."
Tonight, Streep will return the honor when she presents Valentino with the Superstar award at the Fashion Group International's Night of Stars.
"I am very happy," Valentino, 73, said of the award. "I have been in this industry for many decades. I love America. It's always fantastic when people still appreciate your work. It gives me the kick to go on and do my best."
Unlike many of his peers, he's managed to achieve quite a rare feat in more than four decades: He consistently pleases long-term clients while constantly attracting new ones. "I try always to do the best I can and to make women look the best as possible," Valentino said.
If there was one gripe he has developed over the years, it's how writers have branded him a designer just for the Ladies who Lunch and the red-carpet set. "It's never just for people who lunch at La Grenouille," he said.
Valentino, who comes to New York about twice a year, keeps an apartment facing Central Park, which, while opulent, has a comfortable, home-like feel with contemporary and classic art and antiques, and a manservant with model looks on hand.
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