Oprah Winfrey recently had renowned designer
Valentino as a guest on her show and they discussed the
fact that Valentino himself is the subject of a riveting new
Valentino: The Last Emperor.
The film captures the final two years of his remarkable 45-year
career from the painstaking process of creating just one of his
handmade gowns to his grand parties to his five pugs. In seeing
the film and learning about his empire, there is no question
that he is truly an amazing artist who is second to none.
About the film itself which Valentino viewed for the first time
at documentary's premiere at the 2008 Venice Film Festival,
says he felt like he had been stripped naked. "I had this camera
behind my person almost every day for two years, and of course I
was working," he says. "And sometimes I was not extremely
Valentino also says that he never designed for anyone but
himself and the woman wearing his dress. "For me, one of the
most important things is proportion," he says. "I look very
carefully at all the detail of the human body of the woman."
In July 2007, a three-day extravaganza was held in Rome to honor
Valentino's 45 years in fashion. Two months later, Valentino
retired, but he says he still wakes up with visions of a dress
in his mind. "I love to draw. I love to design," he says. "When
I am alone in my room, when I am alone somewhere, I still make
Looking back on his career, Valentino feels he can finally admit
one thing to himself. "Finally today I can say it
I am proud of
what I did," he says. "But I am proud, too, to stop at the right
moment, when the room was full of people."
The question that Oprah asked Valentino that was most
interesting to this writer was,
What's the best fashion advice
you have for women today?
His response, Keep it simple. "Not
to overdo it," he says. "Try to have a nice pair of shoes, a
nice bag, a beautiful blouse, a nice skirt, a nice pair of
trousers." Words of wisdom from the
of fashion that
every woman can utilize and in my humble opinion, should dress
Valentino: The Last Emperor
opens in New York on March 18, in Chicago on March 27 and in
other select cities April 3. Visit
to see if it's playing in a town near you.