Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition

On 29 November 2012, Somerset House in London opened a landmark exhibition, Valentino: Master of Couture, focusing entirely on Valentino's contribution to haute couture fashion. Valentino Garavani is widely recognised as one of the world's greatest living fashion designers. Throughout a fifty-year career he has dressed some of the world's most influential and glamorous women.
Photo courtesy of Somerset House
This major exhibition is celebrating the life and work of Valentino showcases over 130 exquisite haute couture designs worn by icons such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Gwyneth Paltrow in an exciting installation created specially for Somerset House. Divided into three sections; visitors start with a private view of Valentino's world through photographs from his personal archive, offering an intimate portrait of the life of the master. The exhibition then unfolds into a couture fashion show where roles are reversed with visitors walking the catwalk to view a staggering one hundred and thirty Valentino haute couture designs. Valentino: Master of Couture is a journey into the secretive world of Italian couture. The final section unpicks the painstaking processes of crafting couture exemplified by the stunning wedding dress of Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, demonstrating the beauty of the work of les petit mains who sew each stitch by hand. In addition a specially commissioned group of films allows behind-the scenes access to the Valentino atelier, where the craft of couture is demonstrated in a series of fascinating samples. Finally, discover more about the man, the icon, by exploring the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum.

Crane TV produced a three-part series, presenting exclusive access to preparations leading up to the staging of the exhibition; from planning and building stages to the press preview and launch party.

Part 1
Part one features Alistair O'Neill, fashion historian and one of three curators behind the exhibition. O'Neill contextualises Valentino's importance within fashion history and the relevance of this particular exhibition today.

Part 2
The story continues behind the major fashion exhibition. The display of 130 of Valentino's most iconic pieces includes the dress that Julia Roberts wore when accepting her Academy Award to the stunning wedding gown of Princess Marie Chantal of Greece. The video examines the work required to convey the beauty and elegance of Valentino's work in a static exhibition. Co-curator Antonio Monfreda is interviewed for this video. Antonio Monfreda has worked on previous Valentino exhibitions and whose creative career spans fashion photography, film, art direction and set design, working with photographers such as Mario Testino and brands such as Burberry. Monfreda explains the overarching ideas behind the exhibition while Richard Greenwood, project manager, gives us a tour of the progress so far.

Part 3
In part three co-curator, Patrick Kinmonth, explains how Valentino's quest for beauty and perfection directly influenced the design of the exhibition. Royalty, industry leaders and celebrities gather at the private view to pay homage to the designer, with famous attendees including Alexandra Shulman and Elizabeth Hurley. Guests are interviewed what Valentino means to them, and the series end with an interview with Valentino himself.


The exhibition is until the 3rd of March 2013.
Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition Reviewed by Patricia Munster on 11:43:00 PM Rating: 5

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