Sunday, 17 February 2013
A VAL-iant Career - Valentino
In lieu of a Grammy’s run down (we all know, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Rowland’s knocked it out of the park, Taylor Swift looked amazing if a little on the skinny side, Florence Welch actually looked pretty darn good showing us her lizard impression and Jennifer Lopez looked like a tit – literally, with a nipple on her head) I’ve decided to dedicate my next blog to a fabulous day visiting my capital and hanging out with the master of couture.
The first spring like weather I have encountered this year started with (of course) a trip to the mother ship with my Partner in Style and some full on lusting after Mrs Beckham’s, Mr Choo’s and High Priest Louboutin’s creations). The difference between Oxford street’s hustle and bustle with its cramped roads and pointy elbows and the tranquil serenity of slowing wandering around looking a pressurised forms of carbon displayed in ornate cages is stark. We managed to bask in this relaxing state of being for quite a while, not even the site of a £15,000 bottle of whiskey could shock us out of our mind-set.
After we had regrouped and dropped a wedge of cash on macaroons we headed to Somerset House. This we knew to be the sight of London Fashion Week and obviously expected to see a few crazy’s wandering around. The view of Mercedes week tents and sheer numbers of yeti coats, movie-star make up and bloggers in sleeping bag outfits being papped was dazzling. Giddy as school girls at a 1D gig, we made our exit towards the exhibition of Valentino.
Though we had to queue (which everyone with prepaid tickets also had to do, though the ‘buy on the door’ line was empty?) and though some codgers skipped in front of us all cos they ‘couldn’t stand that long’ - I’m looking forward to trying that one in a few years) when it comes to exhibits, Somerset House know how to display their wares.
Now, while I didn’t see anyone taking pictures (though a quick scan of the internet shows that some people have disobeyed this request) in a truly bizarre co-incidence, some images of the exhibit did appear in my inbox this morning. So I have no choice but to show you these shots which were received completely anonymously and without trace so I am not able to question the person that sent them. I imagine this individual to be a wholly fabulous creature that I could count on to be great company and a total giggle to be around, y’know, should have I any idea who they are, which I don’t so stop asking…
There were some obvious mishaps, a Scarlet o’ Hara meets action man ballgown, one where Valentino obviously had a bit of a star trek fetish period and some serious maternity inspired get ups. But anyone can have an off year and these hiccups in his career were more than mollified with the intense beauty of his finer pieces.
Casual elegance and eternal romanticism were both achieved with equal finesse. Dresses worn by Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy – at her wedding to Mr Onassis no less! - and Julia Roberts (when she won her Oscar for Erin Brockovich) were literally within touching distance.
The piece de resistance of a wedding gown to end all wedding gowns (which my secretive snapper captured like a pro) was sheer beauty. While Valentino sold his business several years ago, has dyed his skin a bizarre choice of mahogany and whose perfume bottles proved to malfunction under duress, there’s no denying the man can cut a gown.
The finishing touch to a truly fabulous day was a visit to the cutest independent book store Persephone Books, which offers readers the choice of 100 previously out of print books to peruse.
Culture, supporting independent retailers, fashion and fine weather, sometimes it’s good to be in London.
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