Friday 12 November 2010

Ruby paints the town red & waves goodbye to Valentino.

“I know what women want. They want to be beautiful.” Valentino

GOMA was a sea of Valentino signature red

when Ruby Connection ‘gals’ frocked up last night to celebrate the final moments of

Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future.

White goddess gowns, sherbet-shaded suits, signature red hue dresses…

We had a lovely evening of frocks and champagne

and failed to decide which a haute couture creation was the most beautiful!

There are only days remaining to experience the

inspiration and passion of legendary couture fashion designer

Valentino Garavani.

Exclusive to Brisbane, ‘Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future’ will finish this weekend, 14 November.

This major exhibition was developed by Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris

with the assistance of the Valentino Italian fashion house.

The retrospective of 100 ensembles

includes some of the most important haute couture creations originally shown in the exhibition

‘Valentino: Themes and Variations’ at Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in 2008.

A chorus of red-dressed women pay homage in the

Valentino a Roma: 45 Years of Style exhibition at Rome’s Ara Pacis Museum in 2007.

He romanticised the idea of woman as goddess with his long, figure-flattering silhouettes in silk, chiffon and lace, intricately beaded, sequinned and ruffled, that became the ultimate in hold-the-front-page dressing.

“I love women,’’ Valentino was often heard to say.

“I have always tried to make them look very sexy, very glamorous.’’

In 1968 Valentino had one of his greatest triumphs, the ‘White Collection’

~ an all-white pring-Summer collection that became famous for the “V” logo he designed.

Valentino was an ardent fan of pantsuits for women in the early ’70s

and pioneered radical looks like evening pajamas and turbans.

Princess Luciana Pignatelli

Audrey Hepburn wore a lot of Valentino in the ’60s, and from his legendary Spring 1968 all-white collection this lacy vanilla mini, is a version of the dress that Jackie O chose for her Skorpios ceremony when she wed Aristotle Onassis.

Known around the world for its sophisticated, timeless design and glamorous clientele, the exhibition showcases a stunning array of Valentino Garavani’s haute couture designs from the late 1950s through to his final collection in January 2008, as well as recent creations by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli – appointed Creative Directors in October 2008.

On display are famous gowns worn by royal families, socialites and hollywood celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor.

Above is the stunning black and white gown Julia Roberts wore to the 73rd Academy Awards in 2001,

and below Cate Blanchett in a lovely lemon Valentino dress when she won an oscar.

Elizabeth Taylor wore this elegant pleated chiffon evening gown with ostrich-feather trim to the premiere of Spartacus in Rome in 1961.

The legendary ‘White Collection’ captured his trademarks of feminine sophistication and slavish attention to detail.  The pics below show ice-princess nobility in an evening suit of white cotton serge with a jacket and vest embroidered with braid, pearls and strass crystals from the autumn/winter 1968 collection.

A cocktail suit of ivory tulle with flowers embroidered in beads, sequins and strass crystals

from spring/summer 2008 has a timeless quality.

Chiuri and Piccioli embraced the beauty of couture technique and reflected the tradition of Valentino in the Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2009-10 collection shown below.

“This was the first couture show where we showed our vision of the brand. Creating an entirely black collection felt right for us because for our generation, black is black, almost not a colour, it is a part of our everyday lives,’’ says Chiuri. “We wanted to show what’s inside the craftsmanship of couture. It’s beautiful but nobody knows about it, so for this collection we wanted everything to be transparent, to show the corsetry underneath, and the intricate stitches that pull together every ruffle.’’

They played with enduring Valentino materials such as lace, but worked with it in a patchwork of different laces, allowing the colour of the skin to come through to make the pattern appear almost like a tattoo. “We want a woman’s personality to be part of the dress. She is wearing the dress, not the dress wearing her. This is our change in point of view.’’

The duo also likes to mix materials – embroidery, lace, feathers, chiffon – so it can’t be described in just one way. “It gives a new harmony. Depending on who it wears it, it will say different things,’’ says Piccioli.

The Chiuri-Piccioli pieces contain hints of original Valentino but also evidence of the design duo’s distinctively more dangerous and risque appeal. Much like the two themselves: Chiuri with her wild, frenetic pace and throaty Roman voice, Piccioli with his cool denims and perfectionist’s eye.

The exhibition explores Valentino’s techniques and recurring motifs

such as ornamentation, the use of geometric and animal prints, frills, folds and pleats

as well as the creative possibilities of volume, surface and line.

The silk serge gown with handpainted coral motif below is from the Spring/Summer 1968 collection.

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Evening gown (detail) above| Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008| Strapless evening gown made of silk voile appliquéd with silk voile ruffles and corollas in graduated shades of pink; fabric: Clerici-Tessuto

Evening gown below| Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2003 | Strapless evening gown with low-set draped pale crimson chiffon sleeves, a train with appliqué pleated crimson taffeta rosettes and red strass crystals in their centres, and pink and grey taffeta rosettes in its lining; fabric: Buche-Guillaud; embroidery: Marabitti

This gorgeous pink dress below is one of my favourites.

Valentino Evening ensemble Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2007–08 / Empire dress with draped bodice, sheath with ribbed darts and triangular train made of pink silk crêpe; cape entirely composed of pink organdy petals; fabric: Ostinelli; embroidery: Pino Grasso / Collection: Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris

The exhibition embodies the glamor, beauty, and ambition of an age

when garments were handcrafted to an uncompromising standard perfection.

Queensland Art Gallery director , Tony Ellwood

Valentino was the first couture house outside of Paris to be officially recognised by the French Government. The exhibition, curated by Pamela Golbin, curator-in-chief for the Fashion and Textiles collection of Les Arts Décoratifs, features a selection of signature ‘Valentino red’ dresses, including one from the couturier’s first collection — ‘Fiesta’, a strapless cocktail dress in draped tulle from Spring/Summer 1959. Valentino often collaborated with master milliner Philip Treacy to create some signature hats and headwear.

Valentino Haute Couture from left: Chantilly lace, tulle, and chiffon ballroom dress, draped Chantilly lace tunic with bronze tulle and lacquered lace, Chantilly lace and feather dress, floral cage ballroom gown. Mask & hat ~ Philip Treacy.

His ‘V’ logo is famous all over the world.

Valentino is synonymous with opulence, extravagance, and drama. In business since 1960, Valentino Garavani made his mark early with intricately detailed, luxurious gowns and tastefully body-conscious silhouettes—even perfecting his own shade of Valentino Red.

Valentino became interested in clothes and fashion in primary school. He was inspired by his Aunt Rosa and learnt the basics of fashion design from her as an apprentice. Valentino dreamt of becoming a fashion designer.

Valentino Garavani was born in Voghera, north of Milan on May 11, 1932. While attending high school he shows a precocious artistic temperament and soon becomes interested in fashion. He takes courses in fashion design and studies French to prepare himself to move to Paris. He is 17 years old when he arrives in the then world capital of fashion and couture. After a few years’ apprenticeship in the Fashion Houses of Jean Desses and Guy Laroche, Valentino returned to Rome at the beginning of the 60s to open his own atelier. Those are the years of the Dolce Vita and many Hollywood stars who come through Rome discover Valentino and determine his quick fame.

Rome (1959-1962) In 1959 Valentino left Paris and moved back to Italy with his lover, French socialite Gerald Nanty and opened a fashion house in Rome on the posh Via Condotti with the backing of his father and an associate of his. More than an atelier, the premises resembled a real “maison de couture“, being it very much on the line of what Valentino had seen in Paris: everything was very grand and models flew in from Paris for his first show. Valentino became known for his red dresses, in the bright shade that became known in the fashion industry as “Valentino red”.

On 31 July 1960 Valentino met Giancarlo Giammetti at the Café de Paris on the Via Veneto in Rome. One of three children, Giammetti was in his second year of architecture school, living at home with his parents in the haut bourgeois Parioli section of Northern Rome. That day Giammetti gave Valentino a lift home in his little Fiat and a friendship as well as a long-lasting partnership started. The day after, Giammetti was to leave for Capri for vacation and by coincidence Valentino was also going there so they met again in the island 10 days later. Giammetti would shortly after abandon the University to become Valentino’s business partner. When Giammetti arrived, the business situation of Valentino’s atelier was in fact not brilliant: in one year he had spent so much money that his father’s associate pulled out of the business, and had to fight against bankruptcy. Giammetti’s entrepreneurial genius proved fundamental to the worldwide expansion and success of the House.

Valentino with Giammetti in the office at the palazzo mignanelli, Rome.

Valentino’s White Collection in 1968 in which the winning “V” first appears, turned him into an unsurpassed king of fashion. Done in all-white, Valentino stitched his trademark Vs on pockets, into lapels. White tights hand-painted with gold sold for over $200. Even Valentino said it was the best he had ever done.

This very modern White Collection, was considered quite radical, and a challenge to London’s stronghold on 1960s fashion. The fashion press dubbed Valentino both the King of Fashion and the Sheik of Chic.

The lace mini-dress he designed for Jacqueline Kennedy’s marriage to Aristotle Onassis made the covers of magazines around the world.

In 1964 Jacqueline Kennedy had seen Gloria Schiff, the twin sister of the Rome-based fashion editor of American Vogue and Valentino’s friend Consuelo Crespi, wearing an ensemble in two pieces in black organza at a party. Jackie called Gloria Schiff to know the name of the designer and found out it was some Valentino. In September 1964, Valentino had a show at the Waldorf-Astoria for a benefit. Since Jackie wanted to see the clothes, he sent his saleslady, along with a model, to Jackie’s apartment on Fifth Avenue. Mrs. Kennedy ordered six outfits and from then on she became a devout client and a friend. She then bought six of his couture dresses, all in black and white, to wear during her year of mourning after President John F. Kennedy’s death. Valentino later on would also design the white dress that Jackie wore to her wedding with Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

In 1978 he launches his own perfume during a gala in Paris, where guest star Mikhail Baryshnikov dances Tchaikowski’s La Dame de Pique at the Theatre des Champs Elysees.

Thanks in part to the entrepreneurial skill of Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino’s longtime business partner and ex-boyfriend, the brand is still manna among European royalty, American socialites, and celebrities craving a touch of class. Though his new creations get a great deal of attention—and requests, especially around red-carpet time—his vintage dresses continue commanding attention. To the horror of loyal fans across the globe, Valentino announced his retirement in 2007. Since he hadn’t groomed an heir, the label is still trying to find its footing: Former Gucci designer Alessandra Facchinetti took over as head designer until being unceremoniously fired after her spring 2009 collection. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, who had previously designed accessories for the label, were then named creative directors.

Celebration of 45 years of Valentino

In order to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Valentino’s career a fashion extravaganza took place in Rome between 6 and 8 July 2007. Festivities started on Thursday 5 July with a dinner for Valentino’s assistants and employees at Ristorante Gusto and ended on Sunday 8 July with the launch of a perfume and a brunch at the French Academy of Villa Medici.

The main five exclusive golden invitation cards have been sent

from the Valentino headquarters  for the main weekend’s events:

6 July 2007 at 7:30 pm: inauguration of the exhibit “Valentino in Rome, 45 years of style” designed by Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda at the ancient sacrificial altar Ara Pacis showcasing Valentino’s most important creations from the past 45 years. Valentino has gone through his archives and his clients’ closets to narrow down his choices to about 300.

6 July 2007 post-exhibit gala dinner at the Temple of Venus in the Imperial Forum. Dating back to 135 A.C. and dedicated to Emperor Hadrian the forum had never been opened to any event. Oscar-winning designer Dante Ferretti (The Aviator, Gangs of New York, The Age of Innocence) re-created the monument’s long-lost columns in fibre glass, a special procedure called anastilosys. Valerio Festi designed a spectacular performance by high-wire ballerinas (costumed in exaggerated versions of the designer’s ball gowns or signature lipstick-red evening dresses), who moved with poetic grace to Maria Callas’s haunting arias, with the Coliseum, bathed in red and mauve light, as a breathtaking backdrop. The plexigas structure remained for the summer for tourists to enjoy. Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli also revealed that Valentino contributed to the restoration of the Temple with a donation of 200,000 euros.

7 July at 5.00 pm: fashion show for 1000 people. For the first time after 16 years Valentino’s Haute Couture fashion show will not take place in Paris during the HC fashion week but in Rome. Socialite and long-time Valentino fan Marina Palma took over the fashionable Bolognese restaurant for a tribute lunch before the international guest list set off for the designer’s bravura couture runway show.

The fashion setting was two halls called Sala Incisa and Sala Baglivi of the restructured 16th century Santo Spirito in Saxia complex, next to Castel Sant’Angelo and the Vatican. Valentino showed about 61 couture dresses, a record number considering an HC show never shows more than 40 gowns. The collection referenced many of the leitmotifs revealed in the retrospective at Ara Pacis and was a tour de force of the flawless and unmatchable techniques that Valentino’s brilliant workrooms. The music segued from Mahler’s Fifth to Maria Callas’s hauntingly beautiful rendition of Puccini’s ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ as Valentino took his bow.

Fellow designers who attended included Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Donatella Versace, Tom Ford, Diane von Fürstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Manolo Blahnik, and Philip Treacy among them—led the standing ovation, which drew tears from the habitually unflappable designer, who embraced Giancarlo Giammetti on the runway.

The post-show gala dinner and ball took place in the Parco dei Daini at the Villa Borghese. There Dante Ferretti had created a Brighton Pavilion-inspired tent, with palm-tree columns and red, black, and mirrored walls, in the gardens. Guests included Princess Caroline of Monaco, Anna Wintour, former Persian Empress Farah Diba,Jacqueline de Ribes, Elton John, Karl Lagerfeld, Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, princess Rosario of Bulgaria, princess Firyal of Jordan as well as MayorWalter Veltroni. Other movie stars in attendance included Uma Thurman, Anne Hathaway, Elizabeth Hurley, Sarah Jessica Parker, Joan Collins, Sienna Miller, Michael Caine, Jennifer Hudson, and Eva Mendes. Singer Annie Lennox held a surprise concert.

A hardcover companion to the exhibition, published by Rizzoli, celebrates Valentino Garavani’s 49 year- career, focusing on his most important and emblematic haute couture designs.

Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future.

The exhibition honours his exquisite tailoring and paparazzi-pleasing floating fripperies.

{Images via Queensland Art Galleryeternally cool}


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