When asked by a reporter "What do women want?", Valentino Garavani, responded, "They want to be beautiful". In this film, we are transported to the land of beauty and wealth, all combined into a business.
Vanity Fair correspondent Matt Tyrnauer has directed a documentary that gave him access to the fashion world and Valentino for the last two years of his fashion business life. From 2006 to 2007, Valentino had a camera in his life much of the time. Tyrnauer captured much of the business. He followed Valentino from his first drawing of a beautiful gown to the sewing by hand of each little bead, to the tall, willowy model walking the gown, to the runway show. This was a fascinating look into the life of a fashion industry. We meet Giancarlo Giametti, the 50 year friendship and lover of Valentino. We were taken to the cafe in Rome where they met, although each of them had a differing version of the cafe.
Valentino is a demanding and controlling boss, and from the first design to the finished product we see first hand how decisions are made. The head seamtress is as demanding and controlling as her boss, and she cuts her underlings with sharp teeth as she berates their work. The show itself is designed by Giametti, and he seems to be a very talented man. Valentino seems to disagree with many of his decisions, but in the end Giametti is usually proved correct. What was particularly interesting to me was the corporate intrusion. Valentino sold out to a company in 1998, which was taken over in 2002 by Matteo Marzotto, a handsome man who gave good business sense but then sold out to an investment banking company some years later. We see Valentino and his 5 pugs traveling in a jet from city to city and from one beautiful residence to another and then to his yacht. Life is good for this man. He is tanned year round, and at times he looks too orange. His hair is always perfectly coiffeured. I wanted to see his personal assistant who helped give him that look day after day. But, what we did get to see was the diva temper, and then the man who showed his love for his partner in small ways, always unexpected.
This was a film that kept my attention, but I don't feel like I got to know the man, Valentino, nor his partner nor anyone in the film. Tyrnauer was told to cut the filming when conversations or actions became too intimate. This was a loss. The film portrayed a beautiful, lush lifestyle, but we know little of the man, The Last Emperor.
Recommended. prisrob 10-12All-09
Una Grande Storia Italiana. Valentino Garavani