There seems to be no end to the drama unfolding in the fashion world (it's safe to say the revolving door at Bill Blass has reached propeller speed). But at least one house is staying au dessus de la mêlée. Indeed, although the Valentino brand is forever equated with spoiled European heiresses, yacht escapades, and a bountiful supply of hairspray, the design duo of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli has managed to imbue that aristocratic elegance with a youthful spirit.
Last fall, the brand reached a new high with Valentina, an elegant fragrance promoted by an irresistible David Sims film, with model Freja Beha as a poor little rich girl who escapes a chic Roman family party, causing a major hunt across town (part Roman Holiday, part La Dolce Vita). The elusive beauty ends up making out with two boys in the back of a car. Well, the Valentino lady has always had a strong sex appeal (how else could she get those rich husbands?), but a ménage à trois is clearly a first.
Now a brand in itself, the scent (a rich mixture of bergamot, white truffes, vanilla, cedar and patchouli) hits shelves this month in a new version called Valentina Assoluto, enriched with stronger cyprus notes. The ad campaign, shot again by Sims, shows Freja in a see-through white dress with the back unbuttoned, proving that the wayward heroine has more than just Roman architecture on her mind.