Valentino: Master of Couture

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Valentino: Master of Couture
© Lorenzo Agius @
Valentino with models, 2007

Fashion fans will find themselves living la dolce vita when this

exhibition celebrating the life and work of Valentino opens at Somerset House. Focusing exclusively on haute couture created by the Italian designer, the show covers the decades from the 1950s to today and showcases more than 130 catwalk and red carpet creations worn by the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Julia Roberts. The exhibition design has been created especially for Somerset House to include a room featuring previously unseen personal photographs, couture invitations and images of Valentino at work and play. The centrepiece is 'The Catwalk' which, in a reversal of roles, puts visitors in the place of a model on a 60-metre runway to view an 'audience' dressed in Valentino gowns, dresses, trouser suits, minis, capes and kaftans. Further displays focus on the wedding dress of Princess Marie-Chantal, made with ten different kinds of lace, and the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, which gives viewers the chance to explore interactive and multimedia content. The final room goes behind the scenes at the atelier with a series of films that show in minute detail the artistry and techniques that go into making a Valentino gown.


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Really disappointing. The exhibition was badly lit, confusingly laid out with very little information provided as to what you were looking at. Mind you I was lucky enough to see Valentino's 40th anniversary exhibition in Rome, which was excellent, so perhaps I was expecting too much?