Welcome to the first of our designer spotlight series; we’ve put together quick guides on some of your favorite and well known fashion brands/designers. To give you an insight into the brands’ history, key moments as well throwing in a few fun and quirky facts. First in the spotlight is the much loved and highly coveted; Valentino
1. Valentino Garavani was born in 1932, in northern Italy. His love for fashion started from an early age, after attending the theatre he became enchanted with the elaborate costumes. After the young Italian had completed his studies at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts and Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris, he assisted at several different fashion houses such as Balenciaga and Guy Laroche.
2. Inspired by the opulence of the Parisian fashion houses Garavani return to Rome, to set up is his namesake label in 1960. That same year he met Giancarlo Giammett, a young architect student at the time. This moment was set to become a key milestone in his life. Giammett became Valentino’s partner both professionally and personally, and thus the beginning of an over 40-year partnership.
3. ‘Valentino Red’ - The colour red has become synonymous with Valentino, the eye catching crimson hue always featured in the finale of Valentino Garavani’s couture collections. Even though Mr Garavani is no longer at the helm of the Italian fashion house, his signature elegant red dresses are part of the brand’s DNA.
4. Valentino combines French embroidery and impeccable taste with
Italian glamour and craftsmanship, to create a style that is love by the fashion elite,
glitterati and royal families across the globe
5. Jackie Kennedy Onassis, was not only Garavani’s most well known client but she was also pivotal in his career. The former first lady purchased six dress, that she worn
during the year following the assignation of her late husband John F.Kennedy.
As well as wearing a couture Valentino dress when she married Aristole
Onassis in 1968. As a result 38 other customers ordered the same dress, which is
completely unheard of in the exclusive world of couture.
6. To celebrate the momentous milestone of the Garavanti’s 45 years working as a fashion designer, lavish anniversary celebrations were held in Rome, during a weekend in July 2007. This included a retrospective exhibition, gala dinner, ball for 1,000 guests
and a catwalk show that’s audience was filled with fashion designers,
fashionistas,Hollywood superstars and aristocracy.
7. Valentino Garacanti presented his last collection for his namesake label during the Spring 2008 couture week. His final collection had all his iconic elements: impeccable, chic tailored skirt suits and coats, stunning cocktail dresses and show stopping yet elegant gowns. The finale featured all the models wearing an identical signature red dress.
8. After Garavani retired, the head of design of Valentino was going to be big boots to fill. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli were appointed the new designers, the pair had previously been the brands accessories designers. They followed the elegant and romantic aesthetic of the brand, whilst adding a more youthful feel.
9. During Paris Haute Couture AW2016 week the pair showed their last joined collection. Maria Grazia Chiuri left Valentino to become the creative director at Dior. Pier Paolo Piccioli is now the sole creative director, continuing to create feminine and elegant yet contemporary collections.
10. Valentino has become a global phenomenon for creating romantic and often dreamy evening dress. In Mr Garavani’s option: “An evening dress that reveals a woman's ankles while walking is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.” Take note when choosing your next evening dress!