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When it comes to throwing a summertime luncheon at the Wideville, just about any excuse will do.  But Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti had a particularly good excuse for the glam repast they hosted at the Chateau last month, as the hubbub of the couture shows in Paris was winding down: They were celebrating Sofia Coppola, whose terrific new film, The Beguiled, is in theaters now. Coppola recently became only the second woman ever to nab the Best Director prize at Cannes—a plaudit that surely didn't take Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti by surprise, inasmuch as they handpicked Coppola to direct La Traviata, the debut production by the Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti Fondazione. It was while working together on the opera, which premiered in Rome last spring, that Coppola mentioned that she'd love to see the legendary Wideville gardens. Mr. Valentino offered that she should see them in summer, when the grounds were in bloom. Et voila: Coppola was invited for lunch, along with about 50 other guests.


Several of the invitees were quite familiar with the dozen gardens of the Chateau de Wideville. Longtime friend-of-the-maison Natalia Vodianova, for instance, had co-hosted a summer gala there of her own exactly six years earlier. The White Fairy Tale Love Ball, which raised money for Vodianova's Naked Heart Foundation, boasted more than a few boldface names among the attendees, and this summer's luncheon to celebrate Coppola was no different. Supermodels, international socialites, Oscar-winning actresses: Check, check, check. Karlie Kloss, Lauren Santo Domingo and Brie Larson were among those tucking into a meal of chicken filet and salad alongside the luncheon hosts and the woman of the hour. And Coppola did get her longed-for glimpse of the famed Wideville roses—although a passing squall did cause lunch to be moved from outside to indoors, where it was taken with a casual chic befitting Coppola's personal style. Perhaps she'll return with another prize in hand, and be given the complete, dozen garden tour.



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