Monday, 5 December 2011

Valentino Virtual Museum

Valentino was the first of his country designers  to see his name quoted on the Italian bourse, his vast fortune was amassed through his consuming passion for Haute Couture.

2007 Adversting campaign

His name brings to mind exquisite red dresses, so much so that the bright red colour has been named after him - 'Valentino red'. His talent to create feminine and graceful clothes attracted the attention of leading women in the world.

Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis in Valentino and his dresses have always caused a lasting impression on the red carpet.

Cate Blachett in Valentino

"Fashion is not so complex. It is about making a woman beautiful. That and nothing else..." Valentino Garavani

He and Giancarlo Giammetti, his life-long business partner and alter ego, have created a true fashion empire. When Valentino retired in January 2008, he left an impressive legacy of fashion elegance which has been created throughout his 45-year career.

Julia Roberts in Valentino

Now you can admire some of his most memorable clothes and career highlights online - Valentino Virtual Museum.

He pursued beauty wherever he could, not only in fashion but also in all his surroundings, from his beloved yacht to his villa in Rome, everything is extremely well thought-out to create an aura of elegance.

Photograph from 'Valentino a Grand Italian Epic' published by Taschen

He has also an estate not far from Paris, an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York and here in London, a house in Holland Park, which he has restored to its original 19th-century state.

Just as Yves Saint Laurent, he has been collecting art throughout his life: Picasso, Basquiat, Rothko, Bacon, Botero, Warhol, Hirst... His eye for beauty and luxury lifestyle have become part of his own identity. 

Valentino has not only immersed himself in a world of elegance, he has also created it. His talent to transform women with elaborate precision was so striking that he will always be remembered as one of the greatest fashion geniuses.  

Valentino after his last Haute Couture Show, 2008

If you want to have a closer glimpse of him, it's worth watching 'Valentino the Last Emperor', a documentary directed and produced by Matt Tyrnauer, filmed over the course of two years. 

Tyrnauer is also one of the authors of a book about the designer - 'Valentino a Grand Italian Epic' - along with Suzy Menkes and Armando Chitolina, published by Taschen.  

The Valentino brand lives on under the creative direction of Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, who have managed to reach the fine balance between its heritage and pure modern romance, receiving much acclaim from the fashion media.

Valentino SS12 fashion show. Source:

Other related posts:
Yves Saint Laurent: Life, Love and Art
Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston
Gucci: Beyond the Wildest Dreams
Coco Chanel, an Ongoing Inspiration