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<b>Valentino retires</b><br>
<br>
When the Italian designer took his last runway bow in January, the world became a little less glamorous. He was the last of the great Paris couturiers (Chanel, Givenchy and Dior long ago lost their founders). And although ex-Gucci designer Alessandra Facchinetti picked up the reins, she was dismissed in October after just three collections. Now, the team behind the successful accessories line is in charge and the future of the label — which once counted Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Nan Kempner and so many ladies who lunch as fans — remains to be seen.<br>
<br>
<i>By Booth Moore / Times Fashion Critic</i>
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( Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images for 20th Century fox )

Valentino retires

When the Italian designer took his last runway bow in January, the world became a little less glamorous. He was the last of the great Paris couturiers (Chanel, Givenchy and Dior long ago lost their founders). And although ex-Gucci designer Alessandra Facchinetti picked up the reins, she was dismissed in October after just three collections. Now, the team behind the successful accessories line is in charge and the future of the label — which once counted Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Nan Kempner and so many ladies who lunch as fans — remains to be seen.

By Booth Moore / Times Fashion Critic

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