With an address book featuring the most glamorous women in the world the title ‘Master of Couture’ is more than deserved. Valentino or Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani as his mother would have called him exudes glamour and luxury – the bronze tan, the perfectly coiffed pug and the bevy of A list stars clambering to wear his brand on the red carpet – it’s every designers dream. Valentino arrived in Paris from Italy in 1950 to study at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Eleven years later Elizabeth Taylor commissioned him to create a dress for her to wear to the premiere of Spartacus and the rest is, as they say, history.
The front row place cards for his couture shows read like a roll call of European royalty and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Today sees the launch of an exhibition at Somerset House paying homage to the maestro – Valentino: Master of Couture. Highlights include a collection of personal letters to the designer – amongst them ones from Lord Snowdon, Anna Wintour and Prince Charles. Attendees also get the chance to view a collection of working sketches ranging from the 60s to present day. Lovers of fashion will be beside themselves when they view ‘The Catwalk’ – a collection of 137 couture Valentino gowns dating as far back as the 1950’s.
One of the couture gowns that will be displayed from ss ’91
Worn by Julia Roberts at the 2001 Oscars ceremony
The exhibition runs until 3rd March 2013.
Valentino: Master of Couture
Somerset House, Embankment Galleries
29th November 2012 – 3rd March 2013
Book tickets here: Somerset House
i the stylist xx