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July 29 2014

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Ciao Venezia, Arrivederci Valentino

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In Venice for the world premiere of his documentary “The Last Emperor,” couturier Valentino revealed today the name of the pretty woman who, of all the great beauties who have worn his creations throughout a dazzling 45-year career, charmed him the most: “If I try to remember the number of actresses, that is a very long list. I have to be very sincere. The person who made me very happy, particularly because she chose a vintage gown, was Julia Roberts when she received her Academy Award for ‘Erin Brockovich.’ ” The designer made the pronouncement directly after the screening of the fly-on-the wall film directed by Vanity Fair special correspondent Matt Tyrnauer, which charts his career from a young boy with stars in his eyes (“I have always loved beauty, it is not my fault”) to fêted veteran who still awakes dreaming of dresses. Tyrnauer praised Valentino for his willingness to be “wired” throughout the two final years of his career and to be depicted “warts and all.” The designer had no editorial control over the film, which, although it does not always show him in an entirely flattering light, is nevertheless an affectionate portrait of a man who knows exactly what he wants. At one point Valentino, exasperated by the backstage maelstrom at one of his shows, is seen to proclaim: “People must learn that they have to follow me. They must be down on their knees in front of me!” Not a sentiment that Karl Lagerfeld would disagree with: “Compared to you, darling,” he whispers in the film, “the rest of us are making rags.”

Photo: Mark Smith

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  1. Valerio says:

    That’s just Valentino which you present in your article. It was a good one but never forget his last word ‘people must learn that they have to follow me’ beautiful words of a beautiful man and a master of design. Italians can be sometimes rude in the eyes of foreigners, but never forget they are also humans and very often don’t mean what they exactly say. It’s a direct way of speaking to someone, and not meant to humiliate someone. Especcialy artists like Valentino have a very expressive use of languages, if it is Italian or English. I’m looking now forward for Alessandra F. his successor and expect that she will go on the way she did during her last fashion shows for the brand Valentino. If so Mr. Valentino should be proud on her.

  2. esmiling says:

    Wow. Great post.

  3. Valerio says:

    Now I’ve seen the documentary I’m surprised that there where no words in it about his sucessor Alessandra Facchinetti. No words of how he’s thinking about her and her designs. Only the cooperation between him an his friend (for 50 years) Giancarlo Giametti. Sometimes I found this a little bit to private, but okay he approved this documentary so it was his choice to deny his successor. Nonetheless these two guys were/are a beautiful couple during their fashion career. They complete each other, one creative mind (Valentino) and the other (Giancarlo) the more business and rational man. Valentino is really the last of the emperors.

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