Valentino Exhibit to Open at London’s Somerset House

Valentino Garavani and Natalia Vodianova at Musée Nissim de Camodo

Valentino Garavani and Natalia Vodianova at Musée Nissim de Camodo

After the pomp and circumstance of the Olympics is over and the flame returns to its sleepy niche in Greece, London will play host to another exhibition of human achievement. But instead of endurance and speed, Valentino: Master of Couture will bring craftsmanship, design and glamour to the city. The exhibit will focus exclusively on his haute couture creations dating back five decades to the 1950s and feature iconic creations worn by Julia Roberts, Sophia Loren, Gwyneth Paltrow and more. Beginning November 29, the Somerset House will be the perfect place to soak in style after the sporting event that has taken over the world.

2002-2003 Fall/Winter Haute Couture romantic Valentino Red taffeta evening gown

2002-2003 Fall/Winter Haute Couture romantic Valentino Red taffeta evening gown

1992-1993 Fall/Winter Haute Couture black velvet evening dress with white ribbons

1992-1993 Fall/Winter Haute Couture black velvet evening dress with white ribbons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike many of the designers other retrospectives, Valentino: Master of Couture collects pieces from the red carpet, haute couture runways and Garavani’s private clients. While some dresses may be instantly recognizable, such as the signature Valentino red bustled gown that Anne Hathaway wore to the black-and-white column Julia Roberts accepted her Academy Award in, some pieces have never even been seen outside of the Valentino atelier.

“Each of these designs have a beautiful story,” said Valentino. “The atelier crafted each so diligently by hand, taking hours, sometimes days to complete. The details are incredibly intricate, though outside the runway shows and events, the dresses have rarely been seen, so to be able to showcase these designs at Somerset House, where they can be seen in great detail by the public, is very unique.”

Valentino with models

Valentino with models

The exhibition will transform the Somerset House. Exhibition rooms will house personal photos from Garavani’s own collection in Wideville, France, including cameos from his menagerie of pugs. As guests continue through the exhibit, they’ll walk along a couture runway, only they’ll play model. Roles are reversed as viewers walk the walk while they browse audience members decked out in vintage Valentino couture. Instead of showing the dresses in chronological order, they’ll be grouped in themes and in open displays, letting guests see every detail. The runway show culminates in the latest designs from the house of Valentino, bringing together the traditions of the atelier with the label’s current designers. In addition to runway dresses, viewers will have the chance to see Princess Marie-Chantal’s wedding gown, which is crafted from 10 different kinds of lace, before heading to special installations downstairs.

Valentino Garavani and Natalia Vodianova

Valentino Garavani and Natalia Vodianova

Moving away from the 50 years of his label, the end of the exhibit looks forward with special exhibits which allow visitors to browse more creations in the Valentino Virtual Museum. The virtual museum is a constantly-changing digital archive of dresses and ready-to-wear along with interviews with Garavani himself and the celebrity clients that love wearing his work. In addition, there will be stations set up with  short films that illustrate the process of making a dress from start to finish. Though the films themselves are short, they showcase the process of haute couture, which can take more than 100 hours of beading, hand-sewing and embroidery.

For more information on Valentino: Master of Couture, visit the Somerset House Web site at www.somersethouse.co.uk. For more information on Valentino Garavani or to visit the Valentino Virtual Museum from your own computer, visit www.valentino.com

Photos courtesy KDC Worldwide

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Author:Fashion Trends Daily Staff

Fashion Trends Daily Editors deliver the scoop on fashion, beauty, celebrity and runway trends.