The legendary designer Valentino Garavani blows out 90 candles on May 11, half of which he passed to literally trace the history of Made in Italy.
The iconic figures that shine in the firmament of fashion history can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and among them there is undoubtedly a true Italian legend: Valentino Garavani. His name evokes not only elegance, haute couture and innovation in fashion, but even a color: the famous Valentino red, which he conceived. The couturier, who began his career in the 1960s in his Roman atelier, has created an exceptional place for himself in the collective imagination thanks to his seductive and detailed creations, characterized by both total pomp and minimalism. chic and effortless. The common thread? The glamorous inspiration that comes from Hollywood, which enchanted him so much from an early age between sequins and great evening silhouettes.
The Parisian style
The Parisian style was also particularly influential, due to Valentino’s studies, who at the age of 17 attended the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, followed by an apprenticeship with Jean Dessés and Guy Laroche. In Rome, thanks also to the support of Giancarlo Giammetti, the designer finds a partner for his entire career and life, opening up to international fashion. From that moment on, the designer’s success was unbridled, so much so that he managed to conquer prominent personalities such as the first lady Jackie Kennedy – who after the murder of her husband ordered six Valentino dresses for her year of mourning, and after still the famous pleated wedding dress for the wedding with Aristotle Onassis – or again the actress Elizabeth Taylor, but also royal figures such as Marie Chantal, hereditary princess of Greece, and Lady D.
But not only that, because Valentino is also the creator of some memorable moments on international red carpets: among these, the vintage dress worn by Julia Roberts when she won the Oscar in 2001, from the 1992 couture collection and inspired by old Hollywood, or Anne Hathaway’s red dress, also at the Academy Awards, in 2011. For the latter, despite having rarely made dresses on commission, a year later she created a splendid wedding dress with off the shoulders and tulle d’esprit. A creation to be considered even more special, considering that Valentino officially said goodbye to fashion in 2008, with an Haute Couture collection whose ending still makes you dream today: a series of fabulous long dresses, strictly in his red.
Author: Michael Zippo
Sources: VanityFair, IO Donna