I laughed, I cried, and I didn't want it to end! I'm talking about the incredible documentary about Italian couturier Valentino (and his partner Giancarlo) called Valentino: The Last Emperor. I saw this film when it opened last May with a sold out crowd of fabulous fashion folk. By the look of the line outside the theater you would have thought we were waiting to get into the tents for the hottest show of fashion week. At the time the only theater nationwide that it was showing in was the Angelica, a small indie theater in downtown NYC.
It was simply fantastic, exceeded all expectations! I saw my good friend Renaldo Barnette, waiting in line to come in as I was coming out and I was practically in tears telling him how great it was (Ren went to the showing that was introduced by Andre Leon Tally, but that one sold out quick, so Jen and I had to go to the previous showing.) Since then I've had this postcard, shown above, on my fridge and have been waiting patiently for the dvd release. This movie is incredible, so great in fact that I can't seem to come up with the right words for it without sounding like a gushing fool. I loved it, and I really think you will too. It's rare for a movie about fashion to really get it right. (Remember the train wreck that was Pret-a-Porter?!?!)
Valentino: The Last Emperor truly takes you into that world, the world of the fashion elite. Another reviewer said it perfectly: " This film exemplifies everything I love about the fashion industry- the hype and glamour of the shows, the weekly flitting from one city to another and the daily encounters with fascinating people." You get to go inside the genius' behind the 45 year old label. You learn how a real couture house operates, and about the man behind the man, because it's also an incredible love story.
It turns out it's still playing at theaters and festivals around the world. You can click here for theater info, or to watch clips from the film click here, or finally to pre-order your dvd click here (available to ship Sept 8th)...I just ordered mine. :)
One of the many great quotes from the documentary is Karl Lagerfeld saying to Valentino "compared to us, the rest are making rags." I love it!
Image above are two working sketches by Valentino from the Ara Pacis Museum exhibit. Fabulous, aren't they!