With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it seemed appropriate to feature high fashion designer Valentino Garavani. He started his own fashion line in 1959 ,when he was just 27 years young. By the mid-60’s, his designs were wildly popular amongst ladies who donned high fashion for galas, diplomatic affairs, and red carpet arrivals. His style of couture is old-world elegance mixed with a highly polished feminine look. And of course, there is his signature color, a specific pure shade of red that has come to be known as “Valentino Red.” With red being the color of Valentines day, and Valentino being just one letter shy of the word Valentine, we kick off the month of February with a little bit of his story.
Valentino was born in Italy and studied fashion from a young age through apprenticeships. He then took on formal training and education in art and fashion in Paris, only to return to Italy to open his own fashion house. Elizabeth Taylor was one of the first to fall in love with his designs. While she was shooting Cleopatra in Rome, she saw his work and made arrangements to wear one of his gowns at a world movie premiere. Soon other women began to seek his designs including: Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Princess Margaret of England.
Elizabeth Taylor in Valentino at the 1961 world premiere of Spartacus
(Interesting Fact: While "Valentino Red" became his trademark, his first collection only consisted of various shades of white.)
In my opinion, this Atelier Versace gown worn by Angeline Jolie to the 2018 Golden Globes is a nod to the above Valentino dress.
One of my favorite Valentino ads, featuring that "Valentino Red"
His other love, aside from fashion, is art and his home displays a wide collection of art including those by Picasso and Andy Warhol. It is very fitting that a lover of fashion would also be a lover of art. While many may look at haute couture as strange and unwearable; it is those who have an appreciation for fashion as an art, that see haute couture as enthralling and beautiful.
A long and successful career later, he finally retired in 2008 with his final ready-to-wear show in Paris. Though he no longer puts pencil to paper sketching collection after collection, he still works on commission every now and then. Since his retirement, he has designed the wedding gown worn by Princess Madeleine of Sweden and also most recently Anne Hathaway’s wedding gown.
One of my favorites from the 2008 final Valentino Show, got to love a bow!
And Anne Hathaway's Valentino Wedding Gown
Valentino designs capture an essence of a woman who is ladylike, confident, sexy and beautiful, while keeping a classy, high-styled look. The majority of us won't be wearing Valentino for Valentine's day, but we can indulge in a few looks that are Valentino-inspired! The Ivy Staple Boutique has a selection of pieces that are perfect for your February 14th date with your special person, family, your best gal friends, or just for yourself...because a girl can date herself too!
Featuring a sharp "Valentino Red" statement bow, this dress couldn't be more perfect! A classy silhouette that is romantic as it is charming. Available only at ivystaple.com for $44.95