Where does a man known for dressing Hollywood screen goddesses from Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren to Julia Roberts
and Halle Berry
go to celebrate his 45th anniversary? Why, the Temple of Venus, of course. And so on July 6, following the opening of a museum exhibit marking his legendary career, Valentino gathered nearly 600 of his friends, fans and colleagues—including Uma Thurman and Sarah Jessica Parker
—at the historic Roman site for an intimate dinner "that was magic," he said.
Indeed, with ballerinas suspended from wires pirouetting in midair, marble flooring laid down over the cobbled ground and fireworks that went off at midnight, it was hard to imagine a more fantastical evening—until the next night, when, after Valentino's latest haute couture show, some 1,000 guests headed to the Villa Borghese Garden for a Shanghai-inspired gala ball.
As guests like Claire Danes
, Eva Mendes
and Jennifer Hudson
danced into the early morning hours, the party wasn't the only thing Valentino's celebrity fans hoped would last a good long time. "I want him to continue designing," said Anne Hathaway
, "for 100 more years!"