Honoring Valentino at Lincoln Center in New York

Just imagine the Rockstuds.

“It was so cool to see so many people all in one place looking so incredible in Valentino,” said Nordstrom executive vice president Tricia Smith this morning. As fashion director Jeffrey Kalinsky noted, the fashion industry, society circles and celebrities all gathered on Monday evening at Alice Tully Hall in Manhattan to honor Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative directors of the storied Italian brand.

Lincoln Center Corporate Fund Gala, An Evening Honoring ValentinoDebbie Harry and Liv Tyler by Sean Carroll, courtesy Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

From Liv Tyler, Keira Knightley and Diane Kruger (Nordstrom vice president of designer Jennifer Wheeler’s favorites of the evening) to Joan Collins (Kalinsky’s fave) the impeccably outfitted guests were like an elegant opening act for the evening’s showstopper: Debbie Harry, who rocked the Blondie hit “Heart of Glass” and more in a black Valentino gown.

Here are some of our favorite images of the honorees and the amazingly dressed, as well as a behind-the-scenes video and comments from our team—including Olivia Kimon what will surely go down as one of the chicest and most memorable fashion parties of the year.

The evening was a fundraiser for the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, which supports 10 different resident arts organizations under the umbrella of the iconic Upper West Side performing arts spot, but it was also very much an acknowledgment of the power and beauty of Valentino. Keira Knightley presented the brand’s creative directors with a leadership award from the Center, saying “Rare is the woman who lends her Valentino. This is because Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo make the label personal. They put emotion into every piece. And every woman who wears Valentino brings her own emotion to it. It’s a true fashion love story.”

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli poses with Keira Knightley (C) during an evening honoring Valentino at Lincoln Center Corporate Fund Black Tie Gala on December 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts)

The Rockstud inventors with Keira Knightley by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images,
courtesy Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

“Seeing how much praise, admiration and love both Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo received from industry peers, friends and comrades tonight is a true testament to how emotionally charged fashion can be,” said Kim, our VP of creative projects and SPACE curator. “And how it can move us all to find the beauty in our everyday. Congrats to the house of Valentino for bringing so much of that into our magazines, runways and shop floors.”

Lincoln Center Corporate Fund Gala, An Evening Honoring Valentino

Glenda Bailey from Harper’s Bazaar, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Debbie Harry and Pierpaolo Piccioli
by Sean Carroll
courtesy Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

“Everyone was talking about how Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo have brought such modernity to an already iconic brand,” said Tricia Smith of the longtime design pair, who were plucked from their accessories posts at the brand in 2007 after founder Valentino Garavani stepped away.

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Nordstrom’s Tricia Smith, in Valentino, via Instagram

“Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo took over a legendary fashion house, but they have already built their own legacy,” said Glenda Bailey, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar via press release. “They have reshaped what is desirable in fashion. I can’t think of two more worthy people to celebrate with this year’s honor and award.”

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Editor-in-chief of Harpers Bazaar Glenda Bailey and Actress Joan Collins attend an evening honoring Valentino at Lincoln Center Corporate Fund Black Tie Gala on December 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts)

Glenda Bailey with Jeffrey Kalinsky’s favorite guest of the night, Joan Collins, by
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, courtesy Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Both Kalinsky and Smith commented on the range of women in Valentino—and the range of their personal styles—at the celebration. By all accounts, it was a gorgeous event, and even the weather cooperated. “It was a fabulous night,” confirmed Kalinsky. “I loved the format: Cocktails, dinner, a concert—and everything about all of it was beautiful.”

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Inside and out at Lincoln Center; images from Jennifer Wheeler and Jeffrey Kalinsky, via Instagram

Shop: Valentino

—Laura Cassidy