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End of a red era: Valentino bids farewell to fashion
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Italy's veteran designer Valentino waved goodbye to the fashion world on Wednesday with a haute couture show brimming with the glamour that made him a favorite with Hollywood stars, socialites and royalty for half a century.

Then just when it appeared to be all over, images of a row of models in Valentino red were projected onto the back walls for the entire length of the runway -- and all the show's 30 models came out wearing identical red gowns.

An emotional Valentino appeared for his lap of honour blowing kisses to the crowd as they gave him a standing ovation.

Italian designer Valentino accepts applause at the end of his Spring/Summer 2008 Haute Couture collection show in Paris Jan. 23, 2008. (photo: Xinhua/AFP)

The Italian designer staged his final fashion show in Paris, which was attended by members of Hollywood's A-list including Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu.

The 75-year-old designer has been saying his goodbyes ever since announcing his retirement last summer after marking 45 years in fashion, but his collection for next summer really is his last.

His opening sequence of chic wool coats in candy pink, ice blue and pistachio with little matching gloves were a good example of why he will be missed in particular by women whose super-rich and often media-shy husbands like their wives to be dignified ladies rather than rock'n'roll chicks at the cutting edge of fashion.

The designer, whose full name is Valentino Garavani, has dressed some of the world's most glamorous women such as Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Onassis.

(Agencies via Xinhua January 25, 2008)

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