Valentino optimises luxury, and has dedicated his life to create one of the most high coveted couture fashion labels in the world. The major new exhibition at Somerset House celebrates Valentino's life's work, showcasing some of his most iconic designs worn by renowned icons such as Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Julia Roberts and Elizabeth Hurley, all in a never seen before catwalk inspired installation.
The known fact the Valentino demands perfection is evident at the exhibition allowing you to get up close and personal with the glorious handiwork. Despite not ever having used a sewing machine himself, his team of highly skilled seamstresses (dressed in their infamous white coats) manage to convey his beautiful vision perfectly.
The exhibition is divided into three parts, all showing you different insights into both his personal life and into the secret world of Italian couture. Sadly photography was strictly prohibited, so naturally I whipped out my iPhone and got rather snappy happy
on the down low of course. Visitors got to see a never seen before private view into Valentino's world though photographs, newspaper clippings and messages from his own personal archive, offering an insight into what life is really like behind that glorious tan.
Next stop, the runway. Climbing up the spiral staircase leads you to your very own couture fashion show, with you as the star. The audience was filled with 130 haute couture designs from throughout his career, along with chairs filled with invites for friends of the house including Lady Gaga and Linda Evangelista. Being able to witness the designs up close was an unbelievable experience and with some of the dresses encrusted with 1000's of Swarovski crystals, all I could think of was those poor interns who had to stitch them on one by one.
|S/S 1976 White cashmere cape with silk shirt and harem pants|
|S/S 1971 Black georgette coat with white chiffon blouse and paillette hot pants|
|A/W 1971/2 Black & white tartan cashmere coat with wool trousers & waistcoat|
|A/W 1988/9 Brown/cream wool coat with brown crepe skirt|
|A/W 2002/3 Red/yellow taffeta outfit - Green/gold embroidered dress with sequin/mink detailing|
|A/W 1967/8 Silk brocade mini dress|
|A/W 1989/90 White cady jacket/dress with silk embroidery & sheepskin trim|
Designed in 1955, realised in 1990 - white rebrodé lace gown with pink dégradé chiffon detailing.
A tribute to Mexican actress Maria Felix.
|A/W 1992/3 Black/white velvet/satin dress with jet/rhinestone embellishment|
|S/S 2008 White silk crepe gown with silver Swarovski embroidery|
A/W 1992/3 Black velvet/tulle gown with ribbon detailing
Famously worn by Julia Roberts to the 2001 Oscar's
|Black georgette and satin dress with oval cutouts, yellow underskirt & Swarovski detailing|
|Red tulle/ostrich feather/Swarovski embellished cape with a crepe cady evening gown|
S/S 1968 Satin gown with hand painted coral design
S/S 1998 Taffeta hand-painted gown
|A/W 1997/8 Emerald green feather/lace/Swarovski gown|
S/S 1966 Black/cream giraffe print cotton coat with crepe georgette hood
A/W 1971/2 Black velvet zip sweater with stress/bead snake detail
What I'm Wearing: H&M Leather Sleeved Sweater, Dorothy Perkins Super Skinny Jeans, New Look Spike Necklace, Isabel Marant Sneakers & Michael Kors XL Satchel.
Now I know that lots of you do not live in London, so I hope that this little insight into the exhibition gives you a view into the spectacular world of Valentino. But if you are around over the Christmas break than pop on over to Somerset House to see the designs for yourself (book your tickets here).