It's official: The private equity fund Permira has bought Valentino, for a whopping 3.5 billion dollars. What this means for the company (and the clothes) is still unclear, though when bigger firms buy smaller fashion houses, several things tend to happen: 1. The staff changes. This is especially important here, since those close to Valentino have indicated the designer's wish to retire in the near future. 2. The company explores licensing and diffusion brands more readily. You're the future, and you don't want to pay $5,000 for a dress. We'd love to see a cooler diffusion line for Valentino and with more funding and a bigger company running the show, it might actually happen. 3. Everyone gets a little nervous and a little excited. Especially, we hear, the folks at Hugo Boss - remember, Valentino owns a controlling share in that company, which is actually the main money maker for brand. Valentino also works with M Missoni. Meanwhile, more practical information: Those fabulous red-banded headbands that all the girls in the Spring '07 show wore down the runway? I found them at Duane Reade for $3.50.