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Valentino 1968
Valentino 1968

Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani born in  Italy, May 11 1932, is  best known as Valentino. He  is  an Italian fashion designer and founder of the Valentino SpA brand and company.

Valentino
Valentino

 

Valentino learned his profession at Guy Laroche, Paris. In 1959 Valentino  left Paris and opened a fashion house in Rome on the posh Via Condotti. By the mid-1960s he was already considered the undisputed maestro of Italian Couture, receiving in 1967 the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, the equivalent of an Oscar in the field of fashion. he is now in his eighties and retired from his eponymous label, but remains a significant figure in the fashion world. His main lines include Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma and R.E.D. Valentino

Valentino

The only label to have designed wedding dresses for both Jackie O. and J. Lo, Valentino is synonymous with opulence, extravagance, and drama. In business since 1960, Valentino Garavani made his mark early with intricately detailed, luxurious gowns and tastefully body-conscious silhouettes—even perfecting his own shade of Valentino Red.

 Valentino Garavani
Valentino Garavani

 

 

The Paris years (1949–1959)

Valentino became interested in fashion while in primary school in his native VogheraLombardy, northern Italy, when he apprenticed under his aunt Rosa and local designer Ernestina Salvadeo, an aunt of noted artist Aldo Giorgini.

 

valentino

Valentino then moved to Paris to pursue this interest with the help of his mother Teresa de Biaggi and his father Mauro Garavani. There he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

His first choice for an apprenticeship, in Paris, was Jacques Fath, then Balenciaga. He found an apprenticeship with Jean Desses where he helped style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes sketch her dress ideas. He then joined Guy Laroche for 2 years. At Jean Desses,

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Valentino sketched furiously, between helping with window dressing and greeting clients for the daily 2:30 pm private showings. Most of his early sketches were lost. However, at a Rome exhibition in 1991 a smattering of them went on display and then-current clients such as Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and Elizabeth Taylor marveled that the DNA of Valentino’s style was already apparent in the layers of white pleats and animal prints.

valentino

After five years, Valentino left Jean Desses over an incident about prolonging a vacation in Saint-Tropez that still makes him uncomfortable today. Rescued by his friend Guy Laroche, he joined his “tiny, tiny” fashion house. After discussions with his parents, he decided to return to Italy and set up in Rome in 1959.

valentino

In 1959 Valentino left Paris and opened a fashion house in Rome on the posh Via Condotti with the backing of his father and an associate of his. More than an atelier, the premises resembled a real “maison de couture,” it being very much along the lines of what Valentino had seen in Paris: everything was very grand and models flew in from Paris for his first show.

valentino

ROME

In 1959 Valentino left Paris and opened a fashion house in Rome on the posh Via Condotti with the backing of his father and an associate of his. More than an atelier, the premises resembled a real “maison de couture,” it being very much along the lines of what Valentino had seen in Paris: everything was very grand and models flew in from Paris for his first show. Valentino became known for his red dresses, in the bright shade that became known in the fashion industry as “Valentino red.”

On July 31 1960, Valentino met Giancarlo Giammetti at the Café de Paris on the Via Veneto in Rome. One of three children, Giammetti was in his second year of architecture school, living at home with his parents in the haut bourgeois Parioli section of Northern Rome. That day Giammetti gave Valentino a lift home in his Fiat and a friendship, as well as a long-lasting partnership, started.

 

The day after, Giammetti was to leave for Capri for vacation and, by coincidence, Valentino was also going there, so they met again on the island 10 days later. Giammetti would shortly thereafter abandon the University to become Valentino’s business partner. When Giammetti arrived, the business situation of Valentino’s atelier was in fact not brilliant: in one year he had spent so much money that his father’s associate pulled out of the business, and had to fight against bankruptcy.

 

Valentino Garavani in 1968
Valentino Garavani in 1968

Breakthrough in Florence (1962–1967)

Valentino’s international debut took place in 1962 in Florence, the Italian fashion capital of the time. His first show at the Pitti Palace was welcomed as a true revelation and the young couturier was deluged by orders from foreign buyers and enthusiastic comments on the press.

After the breakthrough show in Florence, Valentino began dressing the ladies of the international best-dressed crowd, such as his acquaintance from the Paris years Countess Jacqueline de Ribes and New York socialites Babe Paleyand Jayne Wrightsman.

By the mid-1960s he was already considered the undisputed maestro of Italian Couture, receiving in 1967 the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, the equivalent of an Oscar in the field of fashion. The Begum Aga KhanFarah Diba,Jacqueline Kennedy OnassisLee RadziwillQueen Paola of BelgiumBabe PaleyElizabeth TaylorAudrey HepburnGloria GuinnessMarella AgnelliJayne WrightsmanMarisa BerensonVeruschka and Princess Margaret were already customers as well as personal friends.

Valentino, Giammetti and Jackie O
Valentino, Giammetti and Jackie O

At some point in 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy had seen Gloria Schiff, the twin sister of the Rome-based fashion editor of American Vogue and Valentino’s friend Consuelo Crespi, wearing a two-piece ensemble in black organza at a gathering. It made such an impression that Kennedy contacted Ms. Schiff to learn the name of the ensemble’s designer, which was Valentino. In September 1964,

Jackie 0
Jackie 0

 

Valentino was to be in the United States to present a collection of his work at a charity ball at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Mrs. Kennedy wanted to view the collection but could not attend the event, so Valentino decided to send a model, sales representative and a selection of key pieces from his collection to Mrs. Kennedy’s apartment on Fifth Avenue.

Mrs. Kennedy ordered six of his haute couture dresses, all in black and white, and wore them during her year of mourning following President John F. Kennedy‘s assassination. From then on, she was a devoted client and would become a friend. Valentino would later design the white dress worn by Kennedy at her wedding to Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

In 1966, confident of his client base, he moved his shows from Florence to Rome where two years later he achieved one of his greatest triumphs, an all-white collection that became famous for the “V” logo he designed.

Vintage Valentino
Vintage Valentino

 

In 1959 Valentino left Paris and opened a fashion house in Rome on the posh Via Condotti with the backing of his father and an associate of his. More than an atelier, the premises resembled a real “maison de couture,” it being very much along the lines of what Valentino had seen in Paris: everything was very grand and models flew in from Paris for his first show. Valentino became known for his red dresses, in the bright shade that became known in the fashion industry as “Valentino red.”

 

Red. Valentino.
Red. Valentino.
Linda Evangelista and Valentino Garavani 1991
Linda Evangelista and Valentino Garavani 1991

In the coming decades, as fashion trended toward fanfare and red carpets rolled out the world’s best dressed, Valentino became the go-to man for socialites caught up in the gala whirl and for actresses accepting Oscars—Julia Roberts, who accepted her statuette for Erin Brockovich in 2001 in a stunningly simple vintage black-and-white column, comes to mind. His dresses were femininity incarnate. “Everything is made to attract, seduce, entrance; the word flirt comes to mind,” Vogue’s Joan Juliet Buck wrote in 1985.

Valentino and Iman
Valentino and Iman

A lavish lifestyle only feeds the fantasy that is Valentino. A caramel dandy in impeccable Caraceni suits, “Va-Va,” as his friends affectionately call him, has played the consummate host, wining and dining Vogue’Andre Leon Talley aboard his 152-foot yacht, the T.M. Blue One, and the rest of the fashion elite at his treasure-filled Château de Wideville. “There are only three things I can do,” he once said. “Make a dress, decorate a house, and entertain people.”

In 2007, Valentino threw a 45th-anniversary bash that still glitters in memory for the lucky guests invited to Rome for the three-day marathon of festivities. Soon after, he announced his retirement. But, with his brilliant rise to fame chronicled in the 2009 documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor, his fame only seemed to grow. In the film, Talley assures his longtime friend, “You’re just beginning!”

 

 Valentino 1974
Valentino 1974

 

 

Valentino
Valentino

 

 

 

 

Valentino Garavani Final Show...
Valentino Garavani Final Show…
  •   1949, at the age of 17, Valentino  moved to Paris to pursue his interest in fashion and study at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts and at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.
  • When he finished studying he became an apprentice at Jean Dessès where he sketched every moment he could – these early illustrations carved out his signature elaborate aesthetic.
  • After five years Valentino  enjoyed a brief spell at his friend Guy Laroche’s small fashion house before returning home to Italy to set up his eponymous label with help from his parents in Rome.
Valentino
Valentino
  • Valentino brought with him to Rome the grandeur that he had experienced in Paris, establishing a reputation among the elite of the Dolce Vita.
  • In 1960  Valentino  met Giancarlo Giammetti and formed a long-standing relationship that would last until the present day – shortly afterwards Giammetti became Valentino’s business partner.
  • In 1962 Valentino  showed a couture collection at the Pitti Palace in Florence for the first time to critical acclaim. This was seen as his breakthrough and he soon became the go-to for dressing the glitterati.
  • Having established himself as the top designer in Italian haute couture, in 1967 Valentino was awarded the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award for his infamous ‘no-colour collection’ for which he bucked the trend for decadent colour palettes, opting instead for beige, white, and ivory hues. It was this collection that saw the ubiquitous ‘V’ become his trademark.
  • The same year he designed the dress that Jackie Kennedy wore to marry Aristotle Onassis. Jackie O, as she became known, was a loyal customer and friend to Valentino.
Valentino
  • 1969 Valentino  open his first ready-to-wear shops in Milan and Rome, before jetting off to New York where he spent much of the Seventies socialising with and dressing famous personalities from the worlds of fashion and art.
  • During the Eighties the designer launched the first Valentino childrenswear line as well as a collection of clothing for young adults which he named Olivier after his pet pug.

 

 model Anna Bailey backstage. Rome 1985
model Anna Bailey backstage. Rome 1985
  • In 1989 he opened the Academie Valentino in Rome, a cultural centre to house art exhibitions and cultural activities.
    • 1998 Valentino sold his company to Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali (HdP) for $300 million (£193,445,000). In 2002, HdP sold Valentino to luxury group Marzotto. Throughout both transactions Valentino stayed on as designer, remaining a hugely influential figure.
Valentino
  •  In 2006 he made a cameo appearance in The Devil Wears Prada, alongside Meryl Streep who played fictional American Vogue editor Miranda Priestly.
  • During the same year Valentino was awarded the prestigious 6th Legion d’Honneur at a ceremony at the Culture Ministry in Paris’s Palais Royale.”I’m feeling wonderful! Just wonderful!” he said.
  • valentino
  • A month after announcing he was to retire from designing, Valentino  presented his final ready-to-wear show during the spring/summer 2008 fashion week in Paris. The show saw a host a famous models turn out to support the designer including Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Eva Herzigova.
  • The following year the feature-length documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor premiered at the Venice Film Festival. It was produced by journalist Matt Tyrnauer who followed the designer around both personal and formal events to provide a private portrait of him.
valentino
  • Publisher of WWD John Fairchild, who gave Valentino the nickname ‘The Sheik of Chic’, said of the designer’s luxurious lifestyle: “Valentino and Giancarlo are the kings of high living,” in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine in 2004.
  • At the end of 2011 The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum was launched at www.valentino-garavani-archives.org serving as a authoritative resource for the life and works of Valentino.

 

valentino-garavanis-3d-virtual-fashion-museum-unveiled

 

  • Valentino  currently resides in Rome, surrounded by friends and family, many of whom he is frequently seen travelling the world with in large entourages, often including his beloved pet pugs.
valentino the last emperor -

 

 

 

 

 

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