Valentino Garavani is widely recognised as one of the world’s greatest living fashion designers. Throughout a fifty-year career he has dressed some of the world’s most influential and glamorous women; from Jackie Onassis to Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, Julia Roberts, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Gwyneth Paltrow. On 29 November 2012 until 3rd March, Somerset House in London will host a landmark exhibition, Valentino: Master of Couture, focusing entirely on Valentino’s contribution to haute couture fashion.
Divided into three sections; visitors will start with a private view of Valentino’s world through photographs from his personal archive, offering an intimate portrait of the life of the master. Part one features Alistair O’Neill, fashion historian and one of three curators behind the exhibition. O’Neill contextualises Valentino’s importance within fashion history and the relevance of this particular exhibition.
The exhibition then unfolds into an exclusive couture fashion show where roles are reversed with visitors walking the catwalk to view a staggering one hundred and thirty Valentino haute couture designs. Valentino: Master of Couture promises to be a journey into the secretive world of Italian couture.
The final section will unpick the painstaking processes of crafting couture exemplified by the stunning wedding dress of Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, demonstrating the beauty of the work of les petit mains who sew each stitch by hand. In addition a specially commissioned group of films will allow behind-the scenes access to the Valentino atelier, where the craft of couture is demonstrated in a series of fascinating samples. Finally, discover more about the man, the icon, by exploring the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum.
There will be a series of talks, screenings and events to accompany the exhibition. To celebrate the opening of this major exhibition and the 10th anniversary of Sunday Times Style, Somerset House brings you Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti in conversation with Colin McDowell. Valentino: An exclusive Style Event, where they will be discussing the creation of one of the world’s greatest fashion houses, exploring Valentino’s 50-year career, unique working process and his relationship with the world’s most glamorous women.
This major new exhibition celebrating the life and work of Valentino will showcase over 130 exquisite haute couture designs