{bon soir, valentino, and farewell}

Have been waiting {for what feels like an eternity} for the unveiling of Valentino’s last ever couture collection, held today in Paris. The historical event, ending his brilliant 45-year career, took place before 700+ invited guests in the graciously refined surroundings of the Museum Rodin on the Left Bank.

"I don't want to be ridiculous and I don't want to be emotional," says Valentino. "I must be happy. I have had a fantastic career and I don't regret one moment of it.”

"I want to give my adieu in all the most beautiful colors of spring. And I want to prove what I am capable of in haute couture."

"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."

"I am especially grateful that I have been able to keep my own style over the decades, in spite of the many changes that have taken place in the world of fashion and in its business."

The king of couture learned his craft in France, at the École des Beaux Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, before becoming an apprentice to French designer Guy Laroche. But it was in Rome that he opened his first fashion house in 1959. While he may have caused a stir from the beginning, it was with his celebrated White Collection in 1968, that everyone took notice, including Jackie Kennedy, who would one day become his muse.

His successor, Alessandra Facchinetti, former artistic director at Gucci (appointed by the British-based private equity fund Permira, who purchased the fashion house for $3.8 billion), makes her debut in March with her first collection of women's ready-to-wear.

The fashion maestro made his way down the high-gloss herringbone runway between a sea of begowned models, all perfectly groomed in the designer's signature Valentino red.

The 75-year-old designer will also be presented with the Grand Medaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris by Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, an honour that will make him an honorary citizen of the city where he has shown since 1989, honouring his lifetime achievement and the Italian's longstanding love affair with Paris.

{Valentino's final bow.}

"All I ever wanted was beauty — to make women beautiful."
And that, he did.

{credits: Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune, camilla @ fashioninsanity, Joelle Diderich, Associated Press, Chris Moore/Karl Prouse}

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about ending on a high note. I'll take one of everything, please...even the hats since I'm a hat kinda gal. Great collection and love the colors. Beautiful.

January 23, 2008  
Blogger Suzy said...

How sad...he will be greatly missed!

January 24, 2008  
Blogger Turquoise Chic said...

Such a beautiful post! Valentino sure went out with a bang!! Absolutely Amazing!!!

January 24, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

Thanks, Turquoise Chic, although I must admit that I'm still a little sad . . .

January 24, 2008  
Blogger girl meets glamour said...

Just stunning...yes farewell Valentino!!

January 24, 2008  
Blogger Easy and Elegant Life said...

Always leave 'em wanting more... Nice to witness part of the show, thanks for the post!

January 24, 2008  
Blogger Joanna Goddard said...

oh wow, fantastic. i bet he's sad. those red dresses are so stunning. xo

January 24, 2008  
Blogger Maryam in Marrakesh said...

oh my, those pink confections are just *incredible*. What a very gorgeous post!

January 24, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

Me, Myself, & I--definitely a high note--I think the word they used to describe the collection was, "impeccable." I liked the colours as well, especially the vibrant Spring florals--and even the red, which was striking.

Suzy, he will definitely be missed--they are mourning his departure as one of the last great couturiers.

January 24, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

Thanks, Kate, and congratulations again on your Washington Post mention!

Easy and Elegant, I couldn't agree more--and it's always nice to have a gentleman's perspective.

January 24, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

joanna, I'm certain he's a little sad, we're all sad! And I agree about those red dresses, and I'm not normally fond of red . . .

Thanks, maryam! And I so enjoyed your post on Kyrgyzstan Fashion Week.

January 24, 2008  
Blogger All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Dear Glamorous -

you have done it again!!

divine post - Abslolutely divine!!

THIS is the post you were waiting to post on !!!

NOW I understand !!! :-)

Any money you had this event on
your blackberry for a reminder !

PS ON another note - have you guess yet have you guessed??!!! - or do I have to tell you outright!! :-):-)

January 24, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

Thank you, Felicity! It was a pretty exciting post for me, since I consider Valentino to be such an incredible force in the fashion and design worlds, and you're definitely right about my having the momentous occasion marked on my BlackBerry calendar!

January 24, 2008  
Anonymous nay-k said...

yes this was really a fantastic show and beautiful creations. I will so miss him!

January 25, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

nay-k--we will definitely miss him--his final collection was perfect.

January 25, 2008  
Blogger alis said...

this is so sad, this totallly ruins my dream of getting rich one day and having a fabulous wedding , wearing a valentino wedding gown.. at least he really did give his all to this beautiful collection.

January 25, 2008  
Blogger Pomegranate said...

Oh how I love the man..

January 26, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

alis, thanks for stopping by, and as for your dreams of a fabulous wedding, there's always vintage Valentino.

January 26, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

pomegranate, I couldn't agree more!

January 26, 2008  
Blogger Alkemie said...

Absolutely Stunning! Great picks!

January 30, 2008  
Blogger Claudia said...

What a beautiful post - very moving too!

It is sad to see classy designers retire and see very few new classy designers - except for a few exceptions (pardon the repetition there), fashion these days is filled with "trapos" (that's Portuguese for rags) and designs that so unflatering (I am yet to see one woman look good on low-waist trousers or jeans!!).

Great post! :-)

January 30, 2008  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

Thanks, Alkemie, and welcome back from your trip.

Claudia, thanks so much--I was quite moved by the whole thing as well--it was history in the making really, and he is one of the great greats.

January 31, 2008  
Blogger Laura said...

amazing. this post made my heart skip a beat! pretty sure there will be another on like him.

February 01, 2008  
Blogger Fifi Flowers said...

WOW! Fun to see my "art school" days look on the runway... oui... Fifi wore BIG bows in her hair... that is how Fifi got the name "Fifi"... LOL!!! FUN FUN FUN!!!

October 07, 2009  

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