VALENTINO’S TIMELESS FASHION
Valentino’s style has little in common with short-term seasonal trends, focusing rather on the search for absolute beauty - between artwork and fashion, poetry and ornament. Valentino’s are dresses for red carpets, for Oscar nights, Film Festivasl, and fashion museums, but they also pay homage to that particular side of everyday life in Italy which is made of traditions, crafts.
In the Nineties, while the world was struggling with the nihilism of grunge, Valentino relaunched high fashion. When in 2001 Julia Roberts received the Oscar as Best Actress, she chose to wear not a new creation but a Valentino Haute Couture dress in black and white originally presented nine years earlier; we owe therefore to Valentino the rediscovery of archive and, indirectly, also of vintage.
Valentino signed his last Haute Couture collection in 2005, before leaving the maison to the current creative director. On that occasion he brought to the catwalk the dress which is considered by critics as one of the most beautiful ever made by the brand: a wedding gown with a pleated skirt and precious details along the bodice, worn by Naomi Campbell.
THE PARISIAN YEARS AND THE VALENTINO RED
Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani was only 17 years old when, in 1950, he arrived in Paris to study fashion at the École des Beaux-Arts. His talent was still unripe and it took the work at the ateliers of Balenciaga, Jean Dessès and Guy Laroche to allow him to refine the technique and also to understand the complex dynamics of that elitist, eccentric and sophisticated world which he would soon be part of.
Legend has it that it was during the Parisian years that Valentino was struck for the first time by the Red, thanks to the solemn atmosphere of the Opera of Barcelona and the clothes of fancy ladies. Today that Red, the Valentino Red, composed of a very precise chromatic mixture that calibrates 100% magenta, 100% yellow, and 10% black, is both patented and emblematic of the brand and of its style.
THE BIRTH OF MAISON VALENTINO
In 1958 Valentino Garavani returned to Italy and opened his atelier in Via Condotti, Rome, where the brand kept its boutique until 2015 before moving to its current location in Piazza di Spagna.
In July 1962, Valentino presented a series of perfect evening dresses inside the Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti in Florence: an overwhelming success. For the first time, Vogue Paris dedicated a cover to an Italian designer. Thus began the story of a brand destined to become a timeless symbol of elegance.
EVOLUTION OF THE BRAND
While maintaining its own style, the maison follows the evolution of times and costumes. In the Sixties, Valentino dresses have trapeze shapes, with flowers, chiffon and transparencies that, although not particularly bold, anticipate the era of seduction - in 1967, during an official visit to Cambodia, Jackie Kennedy wears a wonderful green one-shoulder piece, the work of the couturier with whom the First Lady establishes a long collaboration.
In the seventies, the crooked and asymmetrical cuts of the skirts represent the revolutions of those times, while in the eighties power suits with rigid straps allowed women to “take their own space.”
Among the most iconic pieces signed by Valentino Garavani, there is the black dress worn by Claudia Schiffer during one of the last "Donna sotto le stelle" fashion shows. Because of its beauty and uniqueness, the dress has been on display for a long time in the Valentino boutique in Via Condotti; inside there is still the tape with the indications of recognition of the garment and the name of the model.
VALENTINO TODAY: PIERPAOLO PICCIOLI
From Valentino Garavani to Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of the brand since 2008, the magic remains the same: Valentino continues to represent the dream, the aristocratic elegance, and the Made in Italy art of living.