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ITALIAN JOB: A cocktail Thursday night to fete the reopening of Valentino’s boutique on Via Montenapoleone attracted capacity-level crowds. Creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli sought refuge from the crush of people behind a wall, cheerfully greeting guests, including Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan, as the human tide carried them past.

The store, designed by architect David Chipperfield, was inspired by Italian architecture of the Fifties and Sixties, such as the work of Gio Ponti and Franco Albini. “The concept of a palazzo is very Italian, so the big picture is very Italian, but also every detail is very Italian in a way — the terrazzo, the gypsum is very Roman, and all the marble. Everything refers to this Italian mood, but with a sense of memory,” said Piccioli. Afterward, guests repaired to a real-life palace, Palazzo Crespi, for a celebratory dinner.

This story first appeared in the February 27, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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