Valentino….One of the Kings of Italian Design


I recently watched Valentino, The Last Emperor – a documentary that chronicled “the dazzling and dramatic closing act of the last true couturier’s celebrated career” and touched upon the history of this great designer of haute couture.  Of course, I had always heard of Valentino, but honestly, I don’t think that I ever really knew any of his pieces.  His style was elegant – it was unique – and it was beautiful.  His use of fabrics, and the way he created those one of a kind touches on each of his creations, definitely put him at the top of the fashion design world.  His creations were very dressy and very formal, but also very wearable.  When someone needed an elegant outfit (without regard to price), Valentino could deliver!

The fashion house still exists, but it is corporately owned (and actually has been for a very long time, even when Valentino was still designing).  Among his most notable clients was Liz Taylor and Jackie Kennedy Onassis.  This is the incredible wedding gown designed for Jackie!

The movie touches on the relationship between Valentino and his business and lifetime partner, Giancarlo Giammetti.  The two have been involved romantically and in business for over 50 years, and it was the combination of the two together that created the great Valentino name.  Valentino was the artist and creator, while Giancarlo was the anchor that held the company, and Valentino, to the ground.

7 responses »

  1. Wow! I never knew any of that. I will definitely watch the movie now. That’s fascinating. I’m extremely curious about his internal world. Does the movie say that he was roiled and troubled, or dazzled by his fame? Maybe this is a spoiler and I just need to watch the movie. 🙂

    • Well, he seemed a bit difficult and demanding at times, but what really impressed me was his calmness during the runway shows! I guess he had done so many during his career that they were routine to him.

  2. I loved this movie too. His genius shone through and the personal relationship with his significant other that endured for so many years was also amazing. I was struck by the fact that they NEVER used a sewing machine when creating some of the most complicated and splendiferous creations. I was lucky enough to see a special art exhibition in Florence in 1996 where all of Valentino’s red gowns were on mannequins in the L’accademia in the entry way leading up the statue of David. It was SO surreal, and AMAZING! I also like Valentino as he has 5 pugs and you know io amp pugs!! 🙂

    • Wow! Were they the same outfits shown in the movie! That must have been so interesting to see. I was also amazed at how they made their prototypes without a sewing machine! Can you imagine making such intricate stitchery all by hand?

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