30 November 2012 by

Valentino: Master Of Couture Exhibition Is Now On, So Here's 10 Reasons We Love Valentino!

GALLERY >> Why We Love Valentino

Head to the Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition at Somerset House this weekend and you’ll be in for one heck of a fashion treat. Mr Valentino Garavani may no longer design for the House of Valentino (after retiring in 2008 – the reins are now held by Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri) there’s no denying the imprint he’s indelibly left on the style industry. The ardent maximalist is renowned for many things – that distinct shade of Valentino red, his exquisite use of lace, the seminal ‘60s look he created for Jackie Onassis and the many Hollywood stars and supermodels who adore him…  Hit the retrospective and you’ll see all of these gorgeous signatures and more, plus moment-making dresses and a velvety rich history surrounding this adored and revered fashion figure – but until then, feel free to reference our list of the ten reasons why Mr Valentino rocks. Scroll away…

The Jackie O Look

Mr Valentino was responsible for those natty little swing skirt suits and pretty shift dresses. He also designed the demure knee-length, high-necked wedding dress she wore for her marriage to Greek shipping entrepreneur Aristotle Onassis.

Valentino red

Garavani told Grazia’s Susannah Frankel, “When I was around 18, I went to the opera in Barcelona and I was blinded by so much red. I decided then that if one day I was going to be a designer in my own right, red was going to be my colour.” Consider that achieved, Signor.

Valentino never ages

And we’re not just talking about the undying beauty of his clothes. The man himself has maintained that perfect coif, fresh skin, dapper style and formidable tan for decades now. We’ll have what he’s having!

Dreamy lace and couture surface detailing

From this enduring 1968 Valentino look (just how much has that been beautifully referenced for the modern runways?) to a close-up detail of fine beading-work from ’97, this man embellishes like no other.

The many celebrity friends

In addition to Jackie O and Liz Taylor (scroll along for more on Liz T) there’s Liz Hurley, Sophia Loren, Gwyneth Paltrow, Joan Collins. You name a powerful woman, Mr V will be pals with them.

The Valentino Supers

Valentino was booming when the original supermodels were also enjoying a major moment. So it’s no surprise to see them lined up après-runway: Christy, Carla, Naomi, Claudia, Helena…

The new brigade of Valentino girls

The luxury of being covered up in one of Valentino’s many current dresses has lured a new set of style mavens to this existing club. Alexa Chung, Anne Hathaway, Olivia Palermo

The Liz Taylor Connection

Valentino told Grazia’s Susannah Frankel this week that Elizabeth Taylor – who he started to dress when she was about 40 years old - once said to him, “Vava, please, listen to me, you want to make me a chic woman but I’m a peasant.”

The pure and unashamedly feminine look of every piece

Frothy, swishy, practically so tasty you could eat them – Garavani’s gowns, suits and slinky dresses have always been masterpieces in the divinely girlish. One of our favourites is this one-off piece he made for Natalie Vodianova last year.


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