Valentino’s Big Couture Night in New York

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A combination of freezing, wet snow was hardly enough to keep the fashion crowd from going out last night — especially if not doing so meant missing Valentino's Sala Bianca 945, a one-time-only couture collection presented in New York. Celebrities and socials, nicely bronzed from the Miami sun, turned up in a rainbow of colors: Nicky Hilton in her Valentino candy-striper jacket, Emma Roberts in a bubble-gum-pink minidress, and Olivia Munn looking radiant in an orange, low-cut number. There were Wednesday-night gowns in the mix, too: lacy, color-blocked — one was even paired with a flower crown. 

The party unfolded over three floors of the Whitney Museum, and began with a cocktail hour set inside a giant Fornasetti installation created especially for the night, which included a wall of Fornasetti porcelain plates, a room of disembodied hands descending from the ceiling, and a room with all four walls displaying giant, slightly creepy, Fornasetti faces. It was an all-around Instagram playground, and the crowd happily obliged. "Take one of me here," we overhead someone say to her friend as she posed in front of the wall. "And here. Like this. Let me see it." 

After cocktails, the crowd was ushered downstairs to the show, and took their seats on pillowy white, soft cushions under (frankly, rather baking) lights. But the collection was dreamlike and soft — a parade of white, lacy dresses fit for the Oscars, or a wedding or two. When the Cut asked Emma Roberts after the show what she would most want to own, she replied without missing a beat: "Oh, definitely one of those dresses, I loved the polka-dot babydoll long dress, I love that dress, I would totally live in that." Katie Holmes, for her part, enthusiastically endorsed the collection's alligator peacoat — but, when asked what item of couture she would like designed specifically for her, she replied: "PJs."

Click through our slideshow to see highlights from last night's Valentino party. 

Additional reporting by Katie Van Syckle. 

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