Valentino: Master of Couture

06/12/2012

Valentino Master of Couture exhibition London
What can I compare the level of my excitement about this exhibition to? Not sure. Put it this way – I bought tickets to the Valentino: Master of Couture 6 weeks before it opened in Somerset House. As Friday came I was up bright and early, got ready and an hour or so later found myself entering the glass doors of the South Wing.

A few flights of stars led to the basement where the exhibition was held. I entered the first room, carefully (and sadly) putting my camera back in my bag as photography wasn’t allowed (why, oh why?!), then suddenly stopped, amazed, as a photo of Tatiana Zavialova dressed in a red Valentino dress from the 1996 collection appeared before my eyes. It was heart warming to see a Russian top model from the 1990s opening this event – at first I couldn’t believe it, but then realised that it was her, squeaked with joy (in a quiet, lady-like manner, of course!) and moved to the second room.

Tatjana Zavialova in Valentino by Gian Paolo Barbieri 1996
The room was filled with memories – from personal notes sent by Donatella Versace, Miuccia Prada and Anna Wintour, photos of Jackie Kennedy, Diana Vreeland and the Royal family to the beautiful Valentino sketches.

Valentino & his dresses
The catwalk was next and became my most favourite part of the exhibition. For the very first time I saw couture dresses, all 137 of them, “up close and personal”. They were incredible, exquisite, stunning, magical and surreal. Every other dress was so near that I could touch the beading and embroidery and although I didn’t dare for obvious reasons, I did lean over the barrier a little to admire every single detail.

Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2007
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2007
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2007
What can I say? The beauty of couture makes you feel quite emotional. It is hard to believe that each dress was made by human hands – the craftsmanship was so impeccable and dreamy that it seemed impossible to imagine how one would be able to create all the intricate details. It was pure art in one of its most beautiful forms.

Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008
Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008
Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008
Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008
Valentino Couture Spring/Summer 2007
Valentino Couture Spring/Summer 2007
Valentino Couture Spring/Summer 2008
There were daywear, coats, evening gowns and wedding dresses including Jacqueline Kennedy’s green satin evening gown and her 1968 wedding dress, cream organza evening ensemble worn by Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland’s tunic and trousers, famous black velvet gown Julia Roberts chose for the Oscars in 2001. This was the moment when every dress told a story, made you stop and admire it in owe and dream, just for a few seconds, of what it would be like to wear Valentino Couture.

Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2005
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2005
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2002
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2002
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2002
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2002
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2006
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2006
As I finally left the Catwalk room I could see a beautiful wedding dress downstairs. The pearl-encrusted ivory silk gown was designed by Valentino for Marie Chantal Miller in 1995 when she married Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. The dress was made by 25 people and took four months and twelve different kinds of lace to complete. In addition Valentino designed 62 outfits for the wedding guests.

Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2001
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2001
Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2002
Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2006
In the final room dedicated to the craftsmanship and les petite mains there were displays containing swatches and videos showing some of the techniques used by the Atelier. It was fascinating!

Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2004
Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008
If you can get to London before March 2013, please go and see this beautiful exhibition. If not, you can browse Valentino’s on-line museum that contains over 5000 documents and images covering designers career from the very beginning.


Photo source: Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition poster, Tatjana Zavialova in Valentino by Gian Paolo Barbieri 1996, Valentino & his dresses, Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2007, Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008, Valentino Couture Spring/Summer 2007, Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2005, Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2002, Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2001, Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2006, Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2002, Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2004 via stylebistro,com

43 comments:

  1. omg this beauty brings almost tears into my eyes... the dresses are so fabulous! Will I ever be able to dress myself in dresses like these?!? ... dream of every woman... Is the model in the first picture natalia vodianova?! She's soooo perfect!

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    1. It is Natalia indeed. There was at least one of the dresses she wore on a runway, too. The floral and pink one as on a photo above. x

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  2. It would be wonderful to see it in person. Maybe I'll have the chance to go to London again before March. :)

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  3. Hi I just found your blog and I am so glad I did!
    Your blog is so amazing and I love this post! These are such amazing photos and i cannot wait to read your next post :)
    I just followed your blog and would appreciate if you could do the same back!
    have a great day!

    The Green Raybans
    http://thegreenraybans.blogspot.com
    //facebook//twitter//bloglovin//

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  4. Whoa!! this must have been amazing to see. That wedding dress looks so tiny...Tataina Zavialova is so gorgeous!!
    Amazing post, Natalia. I loved it!
    XO, Gina
    http://classyeverafter.blogspot.com

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  5. LOVE VALENTINO!!My fav fashion deignr ever!!!
    I went 4 times at his exhibition here in Rome some years ago!^^
    Beautiful pics!
    xxx
    S

    http://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.it

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  6. Wow, this sounds like a seriously incredible exhibition, and what a setting for it too, I LOVE Somerset House. Gorgeous images as ever Natalia!

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  7. Hi dear, you are so lucky to have seen this exhibition, it sounds like a fashion bloggers dream, such a pity about not being able to take photos. Loved reading your descriptions, you brought it to life for me.

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  8. Sounds like a truly beautiful and inspiring exhibit! What a pleasure to be able to see the clothes in person and admire the craftsmanship involved :)

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  9. Hi dear, you are so lucky to have seen this exhibition, it sounds like a fashion bloggers dream, such a pity about not being able to take photos. Loved reading your descriptions, you brought the experience to life for me.

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  10. Wow, this would have been truly incredible to see. Pieces are art, really, and I'm quite jealous you got the chance to view them in person!
    -Jamie
    http://chatterblossom.blogspot.com/

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  11. Ох, сказочные платья какие!
    А я наконец принесла схему зеленого свитера, прости, что долго...
    узор

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  12. That first image is just breath taking! Sounds like a great exhibition xo

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  13. Гениальный дизайнер, шикарные наряды!

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  14. I came across your amazing blog and I'd like us to remain in touch! How'd you like to follow each other?

    Love Nyt,
    from
    BIG hair LOUD mouth

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  15. inspiring post girl!nice work on your blog!check mine if you want!want to follow each other?thanks

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  16. I'd love to go to this! Still need to catch the Tim Walker exhibition too xxx

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  17. that sounds amazing! also, i love the first picture:-) x

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  18. His clothes are so beautiful and magical. It's like looking at art.
    XO,
    Zhanna
    www.lifeandbows.com

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  19. OMG, the last dress is a jewel!!!
    Great post!!

    pashionality.com

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  20. that sounds amazing! i have never even thought that being in the presence of such works was possible. i think i would love the "memories" part as well, how cool to be able to see notes from his famous clients! and jackie o's wedding dress?! wow!

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  21. great pics! great post! beautiful dresses :)

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  22. Another great post. I am looking forward to seeing this too. Xxxx

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  23. Hello!

    Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment. It was so sweet of you to say so! Really glad you liked it! <333

    This is a lovely post! So many beautiful things!

    Would you like to follow each other? Let me know ;)
    xx

    Johanna, Sweden
    ART & FASHION

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  24. This looks absolutely wonderful I wish I went to more exhibitions and things like this hopefully I'll have the time (not to mention the money) after Christmas... Some one employ me! :'(
    http://www.bandasaur.blogspot.co.uk/

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  25. Hello there pretty! :)
    I am having my first giveaway. :) You might win awesome COSMETIC ORGANIZERS! ^_^
    I am hoping for your participation. ^_^
    Here is the link: http://thepiinkrouge.blogspot.com/2012/11/novemberrific-giveaway.html
    Thank you so much! God Bless :)
    Follow my blog. Will SURELY followed you back!<3 :)

    Much Love!
    -Jan
    http://thepiinkrouge.blogspot.com/

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  26. It really is incredible that people actually make these beautiful pieces of clothing. I can barely sew on a button.

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  27. lovely pictures, can always draw inspiration from them! if you have a chance, please visit my blog. i think you'll like my outfits!

    www.dailydisguise.com

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  28. Valentino has always been my favorite, this exhibit is like a dream and I love how you covered it. I can't wait to hopefully get a chance to see it in January!
    xo Mary Jo

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  29. This sounds like it must have been the most amazing display to go visit, to see all of those gown up close like that and in such detail! (I love Valentino, I love the romance of them and Dior.) The beading and the structure on that last gown is just breath taking, such craftsmanship.

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  30. I can only imagine how amazing this exhibition is! I love that top photo and the pink couture details are some of my favourites.

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  31. I will most definitely gt to the exhib!!! Such beautiful images, couldn't help but get pinning!
    x.o.x.o

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  32. I am in love with the last dress! All that bling and the bling bow, stunning!

    XO,
    Rachel Ashley
    http://fashionablyliving.com

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  33. Dear Natalia, thank you so much for sharing your impressions of the Valentino exhibition! I would love to visit it as well...

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  34. You are living fabulously. I love it!

    I'm hosting a $100 Lulus.com gift card giveaway on the blog. Hope you can enter!

    goodbadandfab.com
    personal style and fashion musings of an LA fashion lawyer living life in the fab lane

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