I was lucky enough to attend the press preview to the new Valentino exhibition at Somerset House for F.Tape a couple of months ago- check out my review here, I visited again for the second time yesterday and reminded myself how fabulous it was and remembered to actually write about it!
At the press preview, Valentino Garavani was there himself to introduce the exhibition and giving his thanks to all who helped make it, although unfortunately he didn’t bring his entourage of pet pugs!
At that time, I was getting slightly annoyed at the disrespectful comments from other journalists saying this ‘would be his last ever exhibition before he dies’ – despite his age (the man turns 81 this year), Valentino is still a legend and regardless of stepping down from the label in 2008, this is the man who sketched his way to being a couture power house.
However, the exhibition itself concedes to cover his whole career timeline, detailing personal letters from the likes of Diana Vreeland and Versace, press cuttings from when Valentino was becoming a household name among the elite and up to the most exquisite couture dresses made and worn throughout the 60 years Valentino headed his eponymous label close enough to touch (but don’t!), including the infamous wedding dresses of Jackie Onassis from 1968 and from the royal wedding of Princess Marie-Chantal from 1995.
The cherry on top includes examining the atelier techniques into making a couture gown with a full glossary of what’s what – for example: ‘a Budellini – a couture technique specific to Valentino where double charmeuse silk is rolled and sewn around a looped length of wool’.
So as sad as it is to admit, this exhibition being a retrospective – you should take the chance to see it now.
The exhibition runs until the 3rd March, so if you haven’t seen it already – hurry!