Valentino: Master of Couture Exhibition to launch at Somerset House in November

by Katie on August 15, 2012

I’d always dreamed of being a ‘Val’s Gal’ so when I indulged in my first Valentino dress (in a Harvey Nichols sale, no less) about five years ago, I knew I was suddenly a real bona fide lady-who-didn’t-quite-lunch.

Valentino Garavani has been influencing droves of belle donne since 1960 with his drop-dead glamour column dresses, his trademark slashes of Valentino red and his unabashed femininity with bows, lace, embroideries and gallons of chiffon.

After celebrating 45 years in fashion in 2007, Valentino bowed out (as ever) gracefully in January 2008. There were tears galore by his multitude of fans, editors and admirers but no tantrums. Valentino is multo chic, after all.
Now, Valentino’s sophistication and glamour is to be celebrated in a forthcoming exhibition which starts 29th November and runs to 3rd March (2013) at Somerset House titled “Valentino:Master of Couture”.
The exhibition will focus on haute couture showcasing Valentino’s humungous impact on the industry and featuring over 130 hand crafted designs worn by icons such as Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Sophia Loren and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Featuring dresses from the couture catwalk and red carpet as well as designs commissioned by private clientele, the exhibition will bring together will bring together a comprehensive collection of couture and a sneak peak into the Valentino atelier.
Says Valentino, “Each of these designs has a beautiful story. The atelier crafted each so diligently by hand, taking hours, sometimes days to complete. The details are incredibly intricate, though outside the runways, 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.”
Exhibition highlights will include the vintage dress worn by Julia Roberts when she won an Oscar in 2001, Jackie Onassis’ wedding dress from Valentino’s 1968 White Collection and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece’s pearl encrusted ivory silk wedding gown.

The exhibition is curated by Alistair O’Neill for Somerset House with Patrick Kinmoth and Antonio Monfreda, long-time collaborators of Valentino.

Exhibition will run from 29th Nov 2012-3rd March 2013. (10am-6pm daily/9pm on Thursdays) at Somerset House, The Strand, London, WC2R 1LA. Admissions: £12.50/Concessions £9.

Pictured above: Romantic evening gown in silver grey silk (1995 Spring/Summer). Winter Haute Couture romantic Valentino Red taffeta eve gown (2002/2003 Autumn/Winter)

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