Tabulous Tastemaker: Valentino

May 11, 2015

By Tab Byrum

Today we are saluting designer and tastemaker Valentino Garavani on his 83rd birthday.

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Valentino was born in the city of Voghera in northern Italy, he showed an interest in fashion design at an early age and when he was old enough he moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. Valentino worked for a few different designers in Paris after graduating, but returned home to Italy in 1959 to open his own fashion house. In 1960 the House of Valentino opened in Rome on the fashionable Via Condotti, he flew models in from Paris for his shows and it was here that he became well known for dresses done in a particular bright shade of red that has become known as “Valentino Red”.

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 It was during this time in 1960 that he met Giancarlo Giammetti, who abandoned his University studies of architecture to join Valentino at his design house becoming his business partner. Valentino’s breakthrough came with his first international show in Florence in 1962, this show put him on the big stage and he began dressing the jet set crowd, by the mid 60’s he was considered the best in Italian haute couture and was dressing the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret.

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The House of Valentino enjoyed great success during the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and into the 21st century, Valentino announced his retirement in 2007 and officially retired in January 2008. Valentino and Giammetti are also known for the decoration of their homes that have been featured in design magazines, these homes include a French castle, a Roman villa and a New York penthouse. Join me in saluting Valentino Garavani on his special day. Enjoy!!!

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An early design sketch by Valentino.

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Valentino Couture Lace shoes. 

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Chateau de Wideville, Valentino’s home outside of Paris.

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Although Valentino is known for his creations in red, I found several beautiful outfits in white. 

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Actress Emma Stone stepping out in a Valentino Red mini dress. 

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Lace is also something Valentino is known for using.

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Valentino traveling in the late 60’s or 70’s.

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I think this blue and white gown is breath taking. 

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A tented room inside Valentino’s Roman villa. 

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Princess Madeleine of Sweden in her Valentino designed wedding gown, 2013. 

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“Le Jardin de Eden” gown by Valentino.

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A look from Men’s Fall 2013.

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A Valentino table scape from his book The Emporer’s Table.

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Another beautiful white creation from Valentino. 

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Valentino by Andy Warhol

Valentino was once quoted saying, “I know what woemen want, they want to be beautiful.” Here’s to a Tastemaker that has helped many people make their beautiful dreams come true, Salute!!

All images are courtesy of Pinterest.

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