Hope everyone had a great Valentine’s day! In celebration of the holiday, this week’s edition of Know Your Fashion Designers is all about Valentino Garavani, better known as Valentino.
Ideal for this week in February, Valentino’s designs celebrate romance and luxury. Even more fitting, his own vibrant shade of red, known as “Valentino Red,” fits in almost too well in the Valentine season. And if that’s not enough – have you seen his wedding dresses? Indeed, this is one designer who is practically synonymous with romance. Read on to learn more about Valentino Garavani and his legacy.
Valentino and Natalia Vodianova – photo credit
10 Fun Facts about Valentino Garavani:
- Valentino Garavani was born in Voghera, Italy on May 11th, 1932.
- He studied fashion design and French at the Academia dell Arte in Milan.
- His first job was with couturier Jean Desses in 1950 – he was just 18 years old!
- Valentino launched his first collection and salon in Rome in 1960; he was famous for his full-length skirts, which stood out from the minis that were popular at the time.
- On July 31st, 1960, Valentino met his partner, Giancarlo Giametti, in Rome; Giametti soon became the manager of commercial development for the House of Valentino.
- A serious dog lover, Valentino owns six pugs: Milton, Monty, Maude, Margot, Maggie, and Molly.
- In 1991, Valentino held an exhibition in Rome called “Valentino: 30 Years of Magic” that celebrated his thirtieth anniversary as a fashion designer, featuring many never-before-seen clothes and sketches. “30 Years of Magic” was brought to New York in 1992. There, the exhibition had 70,000 viewers in less than two weeks!
- The documentary “Valentino: the Last Emperor” came out in 2008. The film gives viewers an in-depth look at Valentino’s life and how he became one of the world’s most famous and celebrated fashion designers. Valentino’s film career also includes a cameo in “The Devil Wears Prada.”
- He announced on September 4th, 2007 that he would retire in January 2008. He admitted to Oprah back in 2009, however, that despite being retired, he still makes sketches because of his love for design and drawing.
- The head designer at Valentino is currently Maria Grazia Chiuri, who worked under Valentino for years before taking over.
Outfit Inspired by Valentino:
Lace! Studs! Ruffles! Bows! Valentino loved mixing textures and embellishments in one look, and understood that a simple color scheme means you can pile on the pieces. So while the outfit may appear busy, the simple distribution of color (or lack thereof) helps maintain balance. Studded accessories are Valentino favorites (such as these studded kitten heels!) and so are girly touches like lace and ruffles. I even went as far as to incorporate a little pug pendant for a necklace or bracelet, as a nod to Valentino’s love of the breed.
Extra for Experts:
- Valentino: Themes and Variations by Pamela Goblin, featuring Valentino as a contributor.
- Valentino (The Universe of Fashion) by Bernadine Morris – does that book cover come as a poster?
- Even though the English major in me prefers to encourage reading over watching TV, as a fashion lover I have to suggest the documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor if you want to delve into the work and life of Valentino. It’s absolutely fascinating!
Thoughts About Valentino?
Do you know any other fun facts about Valentino? Do you miss him as much as we do here at CF since he retired? What would you do to wear a Valentino dress? Please share us your thoughts! As always, suggestions for future KYFD posts are always encouraged!