Sunday, May 17, 2009

Valentino The Last Emperor

Photo shoot above from the documentary: Valentino: The Last Emperor.

One critic described viewing the film as
" a little like gorging on chocolate and Champagne until that queasy moment arrives when you realize you’ve consumed far too much."

Well, I've just seen this film and you might know, I do love chocolate and adore Champagne so this film was right up my alley!

I have always been fascinated by the world of fashion. As a child I would love to carefully go over each page of my mother's monthly "Vogue" magazines. I would study the fashions, the make-up and the hair styles. I learned to sew at an early age and loved the idea of making my own clothes. In high school there were dances every Friday night. On Mondays my mom would take me shopping for material. I'd decide what I wanted to make and I'd work on a dress throughout the week to wear to the dance on Friday night. I know it sounds crazy but I loved it. Sometimes I literally would have to sew myself into the dress because it wasn't quite finished. I would make really fancy dresses for the holidays out of satin brocade material. As a child (and as an adult) I loved dressing up and I still love anything to do with fashion, including shoes and accessories, especially sparkly jewelry.

In the late 60's as a young teen, I opened a hippie boutique with several friends. We designed and sewed dresses made out of rich velvets and sheer fabrics...they had long butterfly sleeves perfect for hippie girls to dance in at "love-in's" and "be-in's" and we made Nehru styled shirts and cowboy shirts for the guys. That was the style that was popular then. Sometimes famous people would come into our shop. It was a wild and crazy time and a lot of fun. One day, I'll post pictures and tell you stories of some of the things I experienced in the 60's.

Seeing this movie on Valentino brought back alot of those old memories. I really enjoyed this film with many scenes in Italy and France and footage behind the scenes of high fashion design from the construction of garments to the actual fashion shows. It is a very telling , often touching story of this man ...the life and times of a fashion genius. Here are some Valentino highlights:

Valentino was born Valentino Garavani in Voghera, Italy in 1932. He studied French and fashion design at the Academia de'll Arte in Milan (1948), in preparation for his move to Paris.
In Paris, he worked as assistant designer to Jean Desses and Guy Laroche (1955-1958). In 1960, he returned to Italy, and established his company in Rome.
In 1962, he presented his collection in Florence. During this time, his clientele is already a who's who list of the rich and famous - Jacqueline Kennedy, Princess Margaret and Elizabeth Taylor.
In 1965, he received the Neiman Marcus Award, and during the rest of the 1960s, Valentino would gain international fame. He will be a member of the elite group which would make the "Made in Italy" label famous and equate it with luxury goods.
Valentino's signature style is "opulence" He is known for his meticulous detailing and magnificent embroidery. The perfection of luxury in Valentino is never ostentatious, but rather a very strong yet discreet appeal of shades stolen from precious stones, from the impalpable delicateness of powder and milk. Absolutely unique, incredibly elegant Valentino style contain all the best italian fashion design and style.
In 1998, Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali (HdP) acquired Valentino with plans of creating a new luxury goods group.
In 2002, HdP sold the company to Marzotto, another Italian luxury goods group which includes Hugo Boss, world-wide leader in menswear, and the Marlboro Classic, Gianfranco Ferre Studio and M Missoni licenses.

1 comment:

girasoli said...

I would love to see pictures of some of the dresses you made. How cool that you opened up a hippie boutique.

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