If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in London this winter then you need to head over to the Somerset House for an afternoon and immerse yourself in Valentino: Master of Couture. Running from November 29th – March 3rd, 2013, this major new exhibition celebrates the life and work of Valentino and showcases over 130 incredible haute couture designs worn by icons such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren.
Divided into three sections; visitors will start with a private view of Valentino’s world through photographs from his personal archive, offering an intimate portrait of the life of the master. The exhibition then unfolds into a couture fashion show where roles are reversed with visitors walking the catwalk to view a staggering one hundred and thirty Valentino haute couture designs. Valentino: Master of Couture promises to be a journey into the secretive world of Italian couture.
The final section will unpick the painstaking processes of crafting couture exemplified by the stunning wedding dress of Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, demonstrating the beauty of the work of les petit mains who sew each stitch by hand. In addition a specially commissioned group of films will allow behind-the scenes access to the Valentino atelier, where the craft of couture is demonstrated in a series of fascinating samples. Finally, discover more about the man, the icon, by exploring the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum. For all the details be sure to visit SomersetHouse.org.uk.
And if you haven’t yet seen the 2008 documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor you’re in for one hell of a treat. The story of how a scrawny little Italian kid can transform a pre-pubescent dream into a multi-billion dollar empire is definitely worth your time. I can remember the first time I watched this insanity I was so obsessed I immediately went out and got myself the world’s worst spray tan and a pack of 8 small pugs on a rhinestone leash, I learned how to speak Italian just like Valentino himself, and I walked around the city for hours each day with my cardboard cutout of Sarah Jessica Parker arm-in-arm. I eventually traded in the snorting pugs for a flatscreen because those snorting shitrolls are just about the most disgusting creatures on the face of the earth. I’ve since found another use for the rhinestone leash.