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Valentino History Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani is the haute couture fashion designer that is known for his beautiful red carpet gowns. Valentino was born on May 11, 1932 in Lombardy, northern Italy. He first became interested in fashion in primary school, in Voghera, Lombardy. It was here that he studied under his aunt Rosa and another local designer. In 1949 with the help of this parents, Teresa de Biaggi, and Mauro Garavani, he moved to Paris to follow his newfound passion at the prestigious École des BeauxArts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. At the end of his education in Paris, Valentino began apprenticing at JeDessès. In between assisting with window dressing and greeting clients he would spend time sketching and practicing his craft as much as he could. It was during this time that he developed his signature style and aesthetic. Although his time at JeDessès’s was greatly appreciated, Valentino left after five years because of an incident regarding vacation time that still makes him uneasy today. Right after leaving his apprenticeship, Valentino went to work at his friend Guy Laroche’s “tiny tiny” fashion house. Very soon after, he started his own label with the help of his parents again in Rome of 1959. It was in 1960 that Valentino met Giancarlo Giammetti at a café in Rome. Giammetti was going to school to study architecture, and living with his parents at the time. The day the two met, Giammetti gave Valentino a ride home in his Fiat, and their relationship both professional and personal continued to grow from this day until now. Right after meeting, Giammetti decided that he was going to go into business with Valentino and drop out of architect school. However, soon after the partnership began it failed on account Valentino’s spending habits.

In 1962, Valentino debuted his first collection of couture at the Pitti Palace in Florence for the first time. This was seen as the young designers break through moment. He was praised by members of the press, as well as flooded with custom orders from foreign buyers. By the middle of this decade, Valentino was already receiving awards such as the Niemen Marcus Fashion Award, as well as dressing everyone from Jackie Kennedy, to Elizabeth Taylor. It was in 1969 that Valentino opened his first Ready-toWear stores in Milan and Rome. However it was in the seventies that he spent most of the decade in New York dressing and getting to know the who’s who of the arts. He dressed and mingled with everyone from Andy Warhol, to Vogue’s editor and chief, Diana Vreeland. During much of the eighties, Valentino put most of his creativeness towards developing a children’s line. During this time he also created a young adults line in which he named after his pet Pug, Oliver. In 1983 until 1985, Ford Motor Company offered a Valentino Edition of the Continental Sedan. It was in 1998 that Valentino sold his company to Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali for $300 million. However, in 2002 Holding di Partecipazioni sold the Valentino Company to the Marzotto Company.

Although throughout the

exchanges of both companies, Valentino wasn’t the owner, he did remain the designer. Valentino presented his final ready-to-wear collection during the spring/summer of 2008 at fashion week in Paris. The show brought out many designers as well as models to see the final farewell collection. A year later, a journalist Matt Tyrnaer followed Valentino around for two years prior to putting together a full-length documentary on the designer’s professional and personal life. Today, Valentino lives in

Rome, where he loves to be around his family and friends. He is often seen traveling the world with his friends, and six pugs. He is the last great couturier of the 20th century, for the others have passed away.

‘Valentino: The Last Emperor’ The Los Angeles Times A documentary convincingly makes the case that designer Valentino's lavish lifestyle is matched only by the talent that has kept him at the top of the fashion industry for 45 years. April 03, 2009|KENNETH TURAN | FILM CRITIC

For "Valentino" also offers entree to the key relationship of the designer's personal and professional life, his half-century partnership with Giancarlo Giammetti, the combination of a creative dreamer with a practical man of business that led to the fashion firm's unprecedented success. Matteo Marzotto, whose family took control of the company in 2002, says, "I don't think Valentino would have been the same without Giancarlo. Not even half and not even one-third of it." With cinematographer Tom Hurwitz shadowing the men so closely that the designer periodically loses his patience, we get to see all sides of this intense and complex connection, the spats as well as the intense emotional bond between individuals who estimate they've spent perhaps two months apart in a half a century together. "Valentino," for which 250 hours of footage was shot from June 2005 to July 2007, had the good fortune to be made during a pivotal moment in the designer's career, when changes in the financial end of the world of fashion lead to the possibility of new corporate owners and a threat to Valentino's traditional way of working. In the face of all this, Giammetti decides to mount a drop-dead 45th-anniversary Valentino celebration in Rome, a three-day career retrospective culminating in a party at the Temple of Venus in the Roman Forum. It's a celebration worthy of the Sun King and a fitting way for both the designer and this unexpectedly involving documentary to literally and metaphorically bring it all back home.

The article, Valentino: ‘The Last Emperor’ is a summary of the full feature documentary, ‘Valentino’, directed by Matt Tyrnauer. The documentary follows the renowned designer for a period of two years. The documentary starts all the back to when Valentino first discovered his passion for fashion, all the way to present day where he resides in Rome, retired. The title ‘The Last Emperor’ is so significant because Valentino is indeed the last great couturier that came out of the 20th century that is still living today. The documentary is relevant to me because for someone who knows very little about haute couture, as well as who Valentino is himself, I really get a chance to get to know him. I always hear about how great of a dresser Jackie Kennedy was since I wasn’t alive to see it myself. After seeing this film, I understand exactly why she was so well put together.

The pieces, and designs that Valentino created specifically for Mrs.

Kennedy were those that accentuated her as a woman. He got to know what worked best for each client, and designed pieces exclusively for him or her. By watching this documentary today it is also evident as to why Valentino is still around today. Although he may not be the designer or in charge of what is going on daily, he still has a legacy that lives on. Any new designer coming into Valentino has studied him as a designer, as well as personally. It takes a gifted individual to come in and successfully carry on the Valentino name.

Valentino Valentino’s signature style is sexy, yet elegant. Many of his couture pieces for women include red carpet gowns.


these gowns are long and sophisticated, he may cut a portion of the dress out on the sides and cover it with sheer to make it sexier. Or, he will design a beautiful ball gown however cut a high slit on one of the legs. In the documentary ‘Valentino’, he says, "the perfection of the dress is like a sculpture that is done in the body of the lady". It is very clear that he knows exactly what women want to wear, even when sometimes the woman herself doesn’t exactly know what she wants. As soon as I started researching Valentino, and his collections as well as haute couture, it was evident that he made his clothes for the elite.

Women like Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth

Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Babe Paley, and Princess Margaret quickly became devoted customers and friends of Valentino when he launched his first collection in 1962. These women were all seen as fashion icons, partly because of the pieces that Valentino designed for them. Valentino’s products range from fragrances to couture pieces. Incorporated in his collections he designs handbags, eyewear, and apparel and shoes for both men and women. For women, most sizes start at about a 4, and go up to about a 6. Valentino always used very then models in his shows, as well as fitting models. For men, most of his shirts start at a size 14, and go up to a 16½, while his pants go from a 36 to a size 40.

With this, I think it can be assumed that Valentino didn’t design his clothes for plus size clientele. Elegance is a huge part of the Valentino brand, which is why most of the fabrics that Valentino used were delicate laces, rich chiffons, and smooth silk and satin. He knew that the most important thing for a woman is to feel sexy, especially in couture. Therefore most of his pieces were created using only these fabrics to give women the confidence that she needed to feel sexy while wearing his garments. Today Valentino can only be found at Valentino stores. The reason I think this is is because Valentino should only be sold and handled by professional well-trained Valentino employees. With all of the delicate fabrics, and pieces, the clothes should be watched over carefully, as well as taken care of properly by someone who knows how to care for the garments. There aren’t any retailers that carry similar merchandise today. For the most couture designers, they may have retailers around the world that carry their accessories like handbags, make up, or jewelry, but when it comes to their apparel, that is something that can only be found in their store. What most impressed me about Valentino is that his pieces are timeless. The gowns that Jackie Kennedy wore years ago are gowns that I would wear today. Also, those garments would not be out of style. If anything they would be pieces that would influence many designers today to push the envelope. I do think that Valentino has pushed other designers to find ways to make sure a woman is dressed very sexy without giving away too much. Valentino uses small beaded jewels on his garments and did so very sporadically. I think this is important as well because he knew just how much of something like this to use, without overdoing it.

What I think Valentino’s historical importance would be is simply creating a collection that women can wear, and feel confident.

In the 1960’s when he produced his first

collection, this was a time when women had just come out of a period where they were to only wear clothes that covered them. With socialites, and first ladies showing off their latest Valentino pieces, it was a way of saying, “we are sexy”. It was around this time that women began wearing a little less clothing, less meaning sleeveless shirts, or skirts that came above their knees. With Valentino’s pieces setting a president for women, American women started to see themselves a little sexier.


03, April. "'Valentino: The Last Emperor'" Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 03 Apr. 2009. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. "Aspiring Forever: The Final Collection: Valentino Garavani." Aspiring Forever: The Final Collection: Valentino Garavani. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012.   "VALENTINO - Fashion Show, Haute Couture, Ready to Wear, Accessories, Rockstud, Eyewear, News, Stores." Valentino. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. "Valentino Garavani." - Fashion Model Directory. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.


Fashion Designer out of Rome


Fashion Designer out of Rome