Jul 22, 2009

Rosso Valentino!

So I finally checked out Valentino: The Last Emperor. Having garnered much attention when it did the rounds during 2008's film fests, I was very eager to get a peak inside the world of Valentino, his lover, Giancarlo, their five pugs and the HBIC (Head Bitch In Charge for the uncool) seamstress. Oh, and the delicious fashion as well.

The film was shot in a style almost guerrilla- maybe to offset the overt glamour of the luxurious offices, showrooms, museums and galas that Valentino worked in and around. Diamonds on my neck, diamonds on my grill? More like diamonds on my pug, diamonds on it's ears.

Besides his pugs and the nagging nature of his relationship with Giancarlo, my favourite parts of the film are the glimpses into the surreal life of this iconic designer through images of notable members of international royalty and iconic celebrities hobnobbing with Valentino. Not "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here," celebrities, but actual icons like Meryl, Sophia Lauren, Jackie O and Liz Taylor.

Their lifestyle seems so opulent, so extravagant but never obnoxious, undeserved or overdone. It's this lifestyle that is just as awe-inspiring as his designs (and yes, he still sketched until retirement). And yet, there was tremendous restraint. Restraint that seems to be from an era past. Not only is Valentino one of the last couturiers, he is one of the last designers to understand that less is more without reaching into the gimmicks of minimalism or deconstructionism.

A little FYI: he actually finds all of his red dresses to be "simple and stupid." THE HORROR!

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