Monday, February 17, 2014

The Emperor's Last Clothes

The Emperor’s Last Clothes

“I love beauty. It’s not my fault.”- Valentino Garavani

It’s been six years since Valentino Garavani’s last show. The fashion world has moved on, but it would never ever recover to how it was when the great designer was still rocking the runways.



And it’s been almost a year since I saw a documentary about him. A really sad one. Not because it’s full of tragedies but it was about the last moments, the last days, and the last clothes of the fashion emperor before he took his final bow.

When Valentino was a young boy, he would always dream about the beautiful women of the movies and Hollywood stars. He said that he used to pretend to be asleep and day-dream about the beautiful women. There was never a moment in his life when he wanted to be something else other than becoming an artist who makes beautiful clothes and apparel for women.

My city (pag-aari ko talaga no? hahaha!) Florence played a very crucial role in the fate of the designer. In the 60’s Florence was the international fashion capital and this is where Valentino’s debut took place. After his show in the Pitti Palace, all of the world’s socialites, princesses, and most beautiful ladies were all running after him, begging him to make the best clothes for them.

Here in Italy, it’s impossible for you to not see fashion at work, or anything about fashion. It’s everywhere- in the TV, in the streets, buildings, people both young and old. Maybe this environment somehow injected some small degree of sensibility towards fashion in me (despite the fact that I’m a fashion criminal).

I am no fashionista or trend-setter, but even a jologs like me can tell that Valentino’s creations are simply one of the finest and the best, and simply the most divine and beautiful of all creations by any other Italian designer.

One thing that I noted in the documentary was that Valentino’s second language is French. And when he’s really pissed off he spurts out venomous invectives in that beautiful language. It is really one of the reasons why I’m planning to study French this summer, so that I can enunciate tirades in the most suave way possible.

When he said goodbye to the fashion world, almost all fashion editors and writers were mourning. To them, he was the last of that breed of designers with the glorious background and history of the dress-makers of the magnificent past.


Near the end of the documentary, I watched Valentino and his life-long companion and business partner embracing each other on the runway as my favorite aria “O Mio Babbino Caro” played on. It was romantic, sad, and beautiful. It’s very moving to see someone like Valentino on the verge of tears. The exuberance and beauty of his art will always, and should always be remembered. 

12 comments:

  1. "Even as a young boy, my passion was to design, and I have been very lucky to be able to do what I have loved all my life. There can be few greater gifts than that." - Valentino

    Long live the Emperor!

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    1. I believe Valentino could go until 50 years in the business. It's just that those in the financing department really f*cked up his craft.

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  2. I am not really into clothes but damn designers sure make a lot of money thinking of new fashion to wear

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    1. I think it's not really about making lots of money. At least in the case of Valentino. I mean why would you charge for a very small price for a work of art? Imagine the finest fabrics and the embroidered clothing.

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  3. “I love beauty. It’s not my fault.”- Valentino Garavani I love this quote.

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    1. I also loved it when he said, "Après moi, deluge."

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  4. I only hear of his name but had not been a fan of designer clothes or fashion. However, I do admire the artistry of people like him for they can create something from nothing. It's always thinking out of the box.

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    1. Amen to that. Fashion writers and editors actually grieve because his retirement is a great loss for the industry. He was one of those few remaining designers who learned couture from the dress-makers of the 50's, who learned couture from the dress-makers of the 20's. He was the last link to the great designers of the past. Now it's all trash.

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  5. Siya na. Basta wala akong hilig sa fashion. Alam mo yan! Naku hindi ka naman jologs... asus!

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    1. Pansin ko nga. Our last chat was the shortest session of all our conversation. Hahahaha! Deadlock sa usapang fashion. Hahaha!

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Sige, sakayan niyo ang trip ko....