Sunday, September 20, 2009

The rest of them are making rags

valentino IMG_1904
Originally uploaded by cerichi

So last night I wrote up a whole post on the delights of the documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor and somewhere along the way blogger had a brain fuzz and all my writing completely disappeared. Sob, sob.

The basic gist of my rundown though was WOW. Who knew so much beauty could be packed into two hours? Valentino's lifestyle is crazily lavish, surrounding himself with beautiful people, possessions and pugs. The gorgeous doggies have their own nanny to walk them and clean their pearly whites. And his couture gowns - though not considered by many to be groundbreaking - are timelessly elegant and feminine.

"I love beauty, it is not my fault" he proclaims.

As Valentino retired two months after the doco completed filming, this film really does chronicle the end of era. My highlights:

* Puggies running all over the place

* Valentino's histrionics over the hairstylist for his couture show wanting big but edgy year. "what is this edgy? Do you not like a chignon?" he says.

* Giancarlo Giametto - his partner for 50 years - with tears in his eyes as Valentino thanked him, from the bottom of his heart, as part of his Legion d'honneur acceptance speech

* Watching Valentino create a magnificent white couture gown from scratch

* The insight into the inner-workings of Valentino's seamstresses - literally everything is made by hand - and the seamstresses delight when they arrive at the label's 45 year exhibition in Rome

* Karl Lagerfeld: "we are the only two left" he says. "All the rest of them are making rags."

* Valentino's French villa, impeccable grooming, well-mannered staff and permanent orange tan. It is like a lifestyle from a different age.

* And last but not least are the dresses, like this pink slice of heaven ...

If you love high fashion and are addicted to trawling the Internet for the couture show reports, then The Last Emperor really is a must see. My friend Liana and I walked out with huge smiles, even though we remain bereft that unless we dump our fiances for rich financiers or invent a cure for baldness, we are never getting anywhere near wearing our own slice of Valentino.

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