By and  on March 28, 2007

MILAN — Call it the Valentino effect.

Organizers behind the Paris fall couture shows and the Milan and Paris men's spring collections are moving up their respective fashion weeks to accommodate the designer's 45th anniversary bash in July in Rome.

The July edition of the couture shows, which in recent years has begun on a Wednesday, is scheduled to kick off Monday, July 2, and close July 5, just in time for the start of the Valentino festivities on July 6.

"The move in the calendar is an exceptional measure connected to an exceptional event," said Mario Boselli, president of Italy's Camera Nazionale della Moda. "We all decided to move up the shows to make things smoother for everyone involved."

The calendar shift is rippling right down to the Milan men's spring collections, which are starting a day earlier on Saturday, June 23.

While Valentino has repeatedly denied the anniversary event is really a guise for a blowout adieu, the resolve by the Italian and French chambers of fashion — and thus dozens of designers and hundreds of editors — to change their schedules underscores the gravitas of the event.

Meanwhile, details surrounding the Valentino weekend are starting to emerge. The designer will host a retrospective installation on Friday evening inside the Richard Meier-designed Ara Pacis Museum. Opened last spring, the glass and travertine building houses the ancient Roman Altar of Peace and is the first modern piece of architecture to be built in the center of Rome in almost a century.

On July 7, the designer will present his fall couture show. Later that night, Valentino will host a black-tie gala dinner. Locations have yet to be revealed.

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