Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Valentino: Themes and Variations

My love for great coffee table books is no secret. I've been collecting them for years and my Amazon Wish List continues to grow by the day. Recently my sweet husband helped me widdle that list down a bit with some great books for my birthday. One of which has become a new favorite, Valentino: Themes and Variations.
The name Valentino has been synonymous with high fashion for almost fifty years. Based in Rome, Valentino is only one of two couture houses recognized by the French government outside of Paris. The book has minimal text but the beautiful photography speaks for itself. I was most surprised to see fashions from the 50's and 60's that look like they could have been designed for a current collection. The clothes are truly beautiful and the definition of timeless design.

Here the book is shown in a closet featured in Elle Decor.
Red silk crepe evening gowns. Left: 1999, Middle: 2002, Right: 1965.

Spring/Summer 1966: Black silk crepe one piece pantsuit.
With timeless style of her own, Jackie Kennedy was Valentino's muse.

"I was in touch with Jackie and she wanted to see all the clothes. So my assistant went with a model to see her at her place on Fifth Avenue to show her part of the collection. I will never forget what followed, for it was the best day of my life. When they came back, they said to me: "Mrs. Kennedy wants all the clothes in black and white." This event marked a turning point in Valentino's career. "I owe so much to Jacqueline Kennedy. Meeting her meant so much to me. She became a very close friend. I designed her entire wardrobe, and she made me famous."
"I think a couturier must establish his style and stick to it. The mistake of many couturiers is that they try to change their line with every collection. I change a little each time, but never too much, so as not to lose my identity." - Valentino

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