The fashion crowd rarely makes space for anyone or anything. So when the Spring/Summer ‘08 Men’s Collections and Haute Couture fashion week both moved their schedules to allow Valentino to host his anniversary weekend, forget the numerous awards he’s been showered with in his 45-year career, this was the ultimate mark of the unanimous respect the industry holds for the designer. All eyes are on Rome this weekend as the anniversary celebrations unfold, with each event seemingly more impressive than the last. The entire proceedings have been directed and designed by supremo set designer, Dante Ferretti. The retrospective exhibition, ‘Valentino in Rome: 45 Years of Style’ designed by Antonio Monfreda and Patrick Kinmonth opens tonight in the Ara Pacis. Running until 28 October, the exhibition will showcase the chronological evolution of some of Valentino’s most significant creations, with over 300 dresses and archive materials on display.
"Valentino is a sweet man, a fantastic couturier, and I just hope he goes on designing for a very long time," said Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, a longtime friend, as she walked the red carpet in a vintage Valentino red gown. On Saturday, for the first time in 16 years, Valentino’s Haute Couture show will take place in Rome, in the reconstructed 16th-century Santo Spirito in Sassia complex. Showing 64 gowns as opposed to the normal 40, to 1,000 invited guests, the show promises to be one of the most spectacular events the fashion world has seen. After the show, Valentino is hosting a dinner, ball and after-party in Parco dei Dainai in the Borghese Gardens. Just when you might think enough’s enough, the designer is also launching a new fragrance, ‘Rock ‘n Rose’, a watch range, ‘Timeless’ and a new book, published by Taschen entitled ‘A Great Italian Story’. And somewhere in amongst all the planning, Valentino has found the time to personally sign the first 100 copies of the 2,000 limited edition print run. (originally published by Wallpaper magazine 6 July 2007) Check out these twopatterns from Sew! Fuzzylizzie from the designer.