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In May of 2008, just a few short months after taking his bow at the close of his final catwalk show, Mr. Valentino returned to the spotlight, accompanying his dear friend Gwyneth Paltrow to the Cannes Film Festival premiere of her movie Two Lovers. This wasn't Mr. Valentino's debut on La Croisette: A year earlier, he'd walked the festival's lengthy red carpet at the side of another close pal, Elizabeth Hurley, following a path that many Valentino looks had trod before.


One of the most famous Cannes/Valentino moments came in 1995: Sharon Stone arrived for the premiere of the documentary Unzipped in a mint-toned Valentino ensemble featuring a voluminous buttoned skirt; teasing the paps, cheeky Stone opened the skirt to flash the cameras—revealing her beaded Valentino hot pants. A decade later, another standout Cannes moment happened as both Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz quickened the paps' pulses in Valentino gowns—Hayek's a beaded black column gown with a sash of signature Valentino red, Cruz's a much more demure floral confection.


And the tradition continues. Sienna Miller, Sofia Coppola and Karlie Kloss are just a few of the trendsetters who have selected Valentino for their Cannes appearances. This year's festival will surely have some major moments, too. But the real question is: When will Mr. Valentino be making a return appearance?



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