81 posts tagged "Valentino"
Jackie Kennedy was 39 years old when she married Aristotle Onassis on October 20, 1968. One of the many pleasures of Valentino: Master of Couture, opening today at Somerset House in London, is the opportunity to reflect on how incongruously jeune fille her wedding dress was, with its lacy stockings and bowed, kitten-heeled shoes. It would look positively dreamy on Cara Delevingne, 2012′s Girl of the Year. That’s one way of making the point that, in the 50 years of Valentino outfits on display in Patrick Kinmonth, Antonio Monfreda, and Alistair O’Neill’s masterfully curated exhibition, there is virtually nothing that couldn’t walk down a street or—more likely—a red carpet today. Call it timeless genius, or maybe just settle for the fact that, in being true to his own vision, Valentino managed to glide past the whims of the moment. The curation makes that point crystal clear. “The clothes are grouped not by decade but by instinct,” Kinmonth explained at a preview yesterday, “because Valentino as a designer was always instinctive, never trend-driven.” Just check out the first look in the exhibition, from 1959. The navy blue wool cocktail dress with panel detailing on the back has got Alexa Chung written all over it. (Funny coincidence that Valentino was chosen to present her with the Style Icon trophy at the British Fashion Awards on Tuesday night.)
Kinmonth and Monfreda were responsible for Valentino’sfarewell to fashion in Rome in 2007, but where that event had an imperial grandeur, this one is intimate and reflective. Monfreda took one look at the long, vaulted space in Somerset House and imagined a catwalk where the “audience” was composed of mannequins wearing the clothes, and the “models” were the visitors. It’s a simple, brilliant switcheroo that transforms a tricky venue into le dernier cri in fashion exhibitions. No mean achievement given Kinmonth and Monfreda’s track recordwith the Met’s Costume Institute.
“All my girls, my daughters,” Valentino mused yesterday as he looked at his dresses. “I feel like the daddy.” But fathers have favorites and, pressed to pick a few, the designer indicated apink taffeta suit from 2008, a blue chiffon dress he’d first sketched in the fifties, a satin and lace evening dress that Doris Brynner wore to the Patino Ball in 1968. He chuckled over a camo-patterned couture gown from Fall 1994. “Warhol had done it in art, so I thought why not do it in fashion,” Val recalled. “Not one sold.”
There are, in fact, 45 dresses from the Valentino archives that have never been seen before, alongside more obvious drawcards like Julia Roberts’ Oscar dress, Jackie’s iconic ensemble and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece’s wedding dress, which took 25 people four months to make, with every minute obvious in the surreally extravagant result. Adjacent to the M-C opulence is a room screening videos that detail the techniques that created the clothes. There is also a “virtual museum” (available soon online), which includes more “how-to’s” for obsessives who care to duplicate the extraordinary handwork on display throughout the show. The “behind-the-scenes” element is Kinmonth and Monfreda’s acknowledgement of London, a rather moreloosey-goosey proposition than Rome, the city that hosted the last Valentino retro they designed. But it also offers an intimate human perspective on the grand legacy that Giancarlo Giammetti, the éminence grise of the Valentino story, has worked so hard to guarantee. The designer himself seemed to be feeling the same thing. Asked what he wanted people to feel as they left the exhibition, his answer was a wistful, “We miss you.”
Plus: See all the photos and read Tim Blanks’ report from the exhibition’s celebration dinner here.
They’re a wrap. The British Fashion Awards have just come to a close in London, where Valentino, First Lady Samantha Cameron, and Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood were all on hand to present awards. The takeaway: The Brits really, really like their homegrown hero, Stella McCartney, who walked off with both Designer of the Year and Designer Brand of the Year. They’ve also got no problem being repeat commenders. Kim Jones of Louis Vuitton won Menswear Designer of the Year for the second year running, and Alexa Chung got the British Style Award—the ceremony’s people’s-choice prize—for the third year running. Style.com/Print cover girl Cara Delevingne won model of the year (see some of our shoot with her here), beloved/feared Central Saint Martins professor Louise Wilson took the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, and outgoing British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tillman, who will leave the post at the end of this year, won a special recognition. The complete winners are below; check back tomorrow for our complete coverage from the ceremony.
DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
MENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton
ACCESSORY DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
DESIGNER BRAND OF THE YEAR
MODEL OF THE YEAR
RED CARPET AWARD
NEW ESTABLISHMENT AWARD
BRITISH STYLE AWARD
ISABELLA BLOW AWARD FOR FASHION CREATOR
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FASHION
The intricacies of Luxup, a recently launched site that combines e-commerce with good old-fashioned store shopping, are not few. The site doesn’t obviate a visit to a bricks and mortar shop, where, paradoxically, you’ll receive merchandise not typically sold at said store. That’s because you’ve already bought it at Luxup’s Web site and downloaded its corresponding “brand pass” in order to collect it. You’ve beaten the obstacles of limited supply (from as little as four pieces to as many as 25 per item) and the clock, both for shopping (items leave the site after a designated time period) and collecting (usually a few weeks; don’t dawdle). What Luxup is essentially selling is a secret password that unlocks the hidden back room of your favorite designer store, whence you walk away with products that are either completely exclusive or available earlier than they would be at retail. After your trials, you’ve reaped reward. Phew.
And yet the reasons to do so are many. Luxup, the brainchild of two former hedge-fund managers, has already amassed a cabal of top talent, from Averyl Oates, formerly Harvey Nichols’ buying director, to run its buy, to Harriet Quick, late of British Vogue, to be its editorial director. The names it stocks are no less impressive. Belstaff, Nicholas Kirkwood, Balenciaga, and Valentino are among the initial offerings. Given that the kind of high roller who shells out for such names is often a traveler as well, Luxup works city by city: Grab an exclusive, cherry red Balenciaga biker jacket in London, or a Deco-style Marni necklace (above) in New York. Naturally, the site is an special draw for the well-heeled business-class woman who’s flying to shop—which may explain why Luxup’s site is currently offered in English and Portuguese, for the plummy Brazilian market. And it’s hard not to notice the Chinese characters lurking after the Luxup logo, and the promise that Hong Kong is the next city to come. But you don’t have to be part of China’s new class of super-spenders to dive in. Once again, then: phew.
Marni’s satin, glass, and stone necklace, $570, is currently available on Luxup.com as a world exclusive for pickup at Marni’s New York Store, 161 Mercer St., NYC.
From filmy bra tops to opera coats with the rumpled appeal of bed sheets, there was a delectable boudoir influence at the Spring shows. Channeling Helmut Newton by way of Lillian Bassman, Jason Wu’s slim leather harnesses and corsetry details had editors tweeting “Fifty Shades of Wu.” Still, the overall message was more lady than vamp. Satin slips that hugged the figure in all the right places turned up at Narciso Rodriguez, Rochas, Céline, and Valentino. A handful of times, the spaghetti straps on those numbers fell off the models’ shoulders, but then they’d push them back up again with such come-hither nonchalance, the incidents seemed to have been planned all along. Silky robes at Miu Miu and the Row, and meant-to-be-seen bralettes from Victoria Beckham and Jonathan Saunders rounded out Spring’s lingerie chest.
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of boudoir-ready looks.
As of late, it’s been the bright colors and wild prints dominating the street-style photos. But there is also a plus side to keeping things simple. Case in point? Emmanuelle Alt and her entourage of editors, all of whom wore head-to-toe black (with a hint of white) while walking through the Tuileries in Paris. Get their effortlessly chic look with minimal essentials from Valentino, Theyskens’ Theory, and more.
From top left to right: Calvin Klein Collection sweater, $750, available at www.netaporter.com; Mulberry belt, $435, available at www.netaporter.com; Theyskens’ Theory pant, $325, available at www.farfetch.com; Valentino pump, $1,395, available at www.neimanmarcus.com.