Monday, November 16, 2009

Valentino: The Last Emperor

I've just watched Valentino: The Last Emperor- the documentary about fashion's last true couturier, Valentino. The film follows Valentino through his final year as head of his company and gives a behind the scenes look at his private life with his business partner and companion of almost 50 years, Giancarlo Giametti.

To me, the real fun of the film was looking into the workroom where these incredible pieces of wearable art come to life. It takes a team of skilled craftswomen weeks to put them together by hand. The beading, pleating, rouching and ruffles are all carefully sewn and embellished by hand, the same way they were in the 17th century. Obviously, I'm not an industry insider so I don't know if these women are passing on their mastery of Parisian haute couture, but the film indicated that this sort of work is dying out and that Valentino was the keeper of the flame.

As I watched Valentino and Giancarlo swan about from posh hotel penthouses to fabulous castles to breathtaking yachts, with truckloads of Vuitton luggage, air kissing movie stars, models and fashion editors with a herd of pugs in diamond collars always underfoot, I began to think about how cheap and trashy the Hollywood version of "luxe" really looks by comparison. The level of refinement and luxury they enjoy is far beyond what one might see on some tarted up starlet in the pages of Us Weekly.

Put on a silk robe, pop open some champagne and put a few dollops of caviar on your potato chips before you put this movie in the DVD player and indulge in a little make believe while you watch. It's as close as I'm getting for now!

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Yeah, do you watch Project Runway at all? It's so cool to see the creative process in the work room! I'll have to watch this film!

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