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Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Cancer-survivor Carmen Marc Valvo in town to raise awareness

By Katherine Boyle

Fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo. (Courtesy of Melanie Dunea)

American fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo, best known for his classic eveningwear and devoted celebrity clientele, is in Washington today to promote national Dress in Blue Day, which raises awareness for colon cancer research and screening. Tonight, he'll host a free fashion show and book signing at the Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria at 7 p.m. to promote Colon Cancer Awareness month.

Valvo is an eight-year survivor of colon cancer, who now works extensively with the Colon Cancer Alliance and Dulcolax to promote Dress in Blue Day and colon cancer screening. "It's so important that people know early detection and early treatment can save lives," said Valvo, who credits his survival to early detection.

The designer will donate the proceeds from his new coffee table book "Dressed to Perfection: The Art of Dressing for Your Red Carpet Moments" ($50, Rizzoli) to the organization. Valvo's book offers photos, tips and tricks that he's collected over two decades in the fashion industry.

His best tip for red carpet prep?

"Take a photo! Photos are a really accurate portrayal of how you'll look in the moment," said Valvo. "It's also how you're going to remember your big day, so do some tests with hair, makeup and different necklines beforehand."

(Courtesy of Melanie Dunea)

Valvo commented on looks from the 2011 Oscars, admitting he was disappointed in the "poor styling" and arguably lackluster gowns. He also echoed Oscar de la Renta and Diane Von Furstenberg's recent "Buy American" campaign, noting the lack of American designers worn on the red carpet this year.

"There were more misses than hits. The Oscars are usually dominated by Paris couture, which upsets me," he said. "The fashion industry is a huge American industry, and we should be supporting each other." But there were stars that met Valvo's standards. His picked Helen Mirren in Vivienne Westwood Couture and young Hailee Steinfeld in American label Marchesa as this year's hits.

He also commented on the John Galliano's departure from Dior. "It's such a crazy, crazy story. The House of Dior had no alternative but to fire him. It's a horrible thing that happened to the house and to him."

But now that makes room for a new chief designer. Who should replace him?

"I have no idea. How about me?"

By Katherine Boyle  | March 4, 2011; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  Fashion  
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