Valentino: The Last Emperor

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The sounds of my September Vogue and W magazines thudding through the mail slot reminded me of the terrific documentary about editor Anna Wintour and artistic director Grace Coddington's struggle to publish the biggest issue of Vogue ever - The September Issue in 2007. The contrast between these two powerful women is fascinating as their personalities and visions clash and deadlines loom. Andre Leon Talley and designers John Galliano, Vera Wang, Thakoon and Karl Lagerfeld are interviewed about their fall collections and the power Wintour wields.

The clean and sober, physically fit Marc Jacobs of today bears little resemblance to the skinny, chain smoking obsessive seen in Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton. The notoriously secretive designer gave what seems to be near total access to the film maker who follows him through the creation of his own collection and the work he does for Louis Vuitton. The contrast between his vision and the needs of the international corporate giant is often poignant, but Jacobs never compromises.

Valentino is the king overthrown by market forces as seen in Valentino: the last emperor. This incredible documentary traces history of The House of Valentino and the two years before its final runway shows. Most intriguing are the hundreds of women and men behind the scenes who actually realize his fashion vision and allow him to enjoy a lifestyle lavish beyond belief. From hand stitching gowns to arranging hundreds of vases of flowers or herding Valentino's pugs and dyeing his lawn - these are the people who 'made it work'. His business partner of more than fifty years, Giancarlo Giammetti is especially insightful as he reflects on the cutthroat, high stakes world of haute couture today and his own long, often unappreciated role in Valentino's success.

Submitted by Christine P.

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This page contains a single entry by Melissa S. published on August 27, 2010 2:14 PM.

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