Who: Valentino Garavani
What: The Last emperor
Wear: A pristine reign in red
*******************FROM THE ARCHIVES********************
People often ask me what designer I would most compare myself with. Honestly, I never had a sure answer because I didn’t want to be compared and begin my career in the shadow of another designer. I do however appreciate certain elements that embody my design aesthetic from different designers. After viewing the film “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” several times, I now know its Mr. Valentino’s shadow I’d never mind living in. And for good reason...
It's the care and attention that is put into making each gown, his love for creating and experiencing beautiful things in and out of fashion, and of course his signature Valentino red. My signature color however is "Chocolate". Ultimately, it’s his ability to translate the simple idea that women want to be beautiful into clothes that’s makes me a student to his craft.
The film, with its beautiful backdrops of Paris, Rome and the exclusive Haute Couture lifestyle of Valentino Garavani, tells the story of the climb to the three day retrospective of the Valentino brands 45 year career and the highly speculated retirement of the legendary designer. Unexpectedly, but very necessary, the film displays the current themes that pull the fantasy of the fashion world into the reality of the economy and business. All the while it is beautifully punctuated by pleated silk chiffon, sequined trimmed godets, fashion shows, and even a few cameos from ALT. Even after four decades of consistent and precise technique, the seventy-plus year old designer still faces questioning by business partners and spectators. Not giving in, Mr. Valentino remains adamant to his instinct, “I make dresses for women who actually wear them.”
For many years outside of his career, which began to take flight after the success of his all white collection in the seventies and the attention he garnered from dressing socialites such as Jackie O and Elizabeth Taylor, he has lived a very private and privileged life. The film gives us a "Behind the Seams" look inside his studio, which encompasses a full time in house fit model and at one point housed one sewing machine for the 100 white lab coat clad seamstresses who never used it.
It’s an accomplishment, to say the least, to produce a collection with such romance, beauty, and fluidity it moves an audience to tears. To be able to capture emotion in the movement of fabric and a single breath in the weight of each garment, while color intensifies your heart beat and anticipation of each piece to hit the runway. It’s simply the work of an artist. “Haute Couture is something you’re born with. It can’t be learned in fashion school,” says Valentino’s life long friend and business partner Giancarlo Giammetti. That beauty has carried the Valentino name from 1973 until today.
You don’t have to love fashion to appreciate this story; it is truly a film for the artist that is within. In the Spirit of ALT, “It’s a triumph of the will, the will to continue to be.” Touché, Godfather. A triumph of the will to chase your dreams, and once you capture it not allowing it to be taken away.
Totally Obsessed, xoxo Love
Valentino The Last Emperor
A documentary on the fashionable life, work and love of legendary designer Valentino Garavani