Despite coming clean about their sexuality, Valentino and Mr Giammetti remain somewhat prudish in their views.Bruce Hoeksema, Valentino's assistant for the past 15 years, said: "When Giancarlo sees two [men] kissing in a restaurant he says, 'Disgusting'.

The designer and his unnatural orange glow were enjoying a nice stroll in Gstaad with a lady friend when his glove dropped into the snow.

It's no surprise that of all the great gay fashion designers to have declared their sexual preference in recent years, including Versace, Tom Ford, Dolce and Gabbana and Giorgio Armani, Valentino should be the last to come out.

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Valentino has always pursuedthe one thing wealthy women crave most: elegance.

More recent fans include Julia Roberts (who wore Valentino to the 2002 Oscars), Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah Winfrey.

There are only three things that I know how to do: make a dress, decorate a house and receive guests ..." According to Mr Giammetti, the two men were lovers for 12 years.

"Now it's a fraternal love," he says, "a relationship with nothing sexual in it.

Think Yves Saint Laurent will use this in their ongoing legal battle? [ On Thursday night, Anne Hathaway got all dressed up for the Fairy Tale Love Ball held at Valentino Garavani's estate just outside of Paris.