Saturday, July 11, 2009

Valentino: The Last Emporer

Whoever came up with the phrase "The Emperor has no clothes" certainly did not know Valentino.

Fashion designer Valentino Garavani (a.k.a. Valentino) is known for his legendary styles, combining the best of Paris couture with Italian fabrics and workmanship. He began his career in l959, launched a collection in 1962 which led to one of the largest haute couture and ready to wear empires in the world.

The feature length documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor has been out for some time and is making its way throughout the country. Rich in beauty, steeped in couture and ladened with pugs, the film offers a portrait of the man who has dressed everyone from Jackie Onassis to Gwyneth Paltrow. The style of the film has been compared to one of my favorite Italian flicks, La Dolce Vita (1960) and offers a glimpse into both his personal and business life and everything in between. Vanity Fair writer Matt Tyrnauer is the film's director.

For those of us who have not seen the film, producer Frederic Tcheng was very nice to share with me these images. Eventually Valentino will be out on DVD and will be a "must have" for any collection. Check the website for schedules and don't let this one get away....Bruno you can see any day.

The legendary designer with his models

His beloved Pugs travel everywhere

The opulent use of the color red (known as rosso Valentino) is a signature in a Valentino design

The film culminates with a retrospective/ extravaganza celebrating his 45th year in fashion at the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome. Marking the end of an era, the ceremony was certainly fitting for an Emperor.

Photo credits: Frederic Tcheung/Acolyte Films

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