Movie Review: 'Valentino: The Last Emperor'

Movie Review: 'Valentino: The Last Emperor'

Summary:  A documentary about the legendary icon of fashion, Valentino Garavani. 

Published March 18, 2009


Summary:  A documentary about the legendary icon of fashion, Valentino Garavani .  Chronicling his beginnings in Italy to his last two years in the fashion industry, you see his style, flaws, passions and dog.

I have never been a fashion head and will probably never be. Nothing about it appeals to me, which is why I am surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed Valentino: The Last Emperor . A beautifully brilliant film about the life, times and career of Valentino Garavani , the Italian fashion designer who is known for his legendary dresses that have graced the bodies of Halle Berry , Oprah Winfrey , Sarah Jessica Parker and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis . He is a fashion original and paved the way for the true beauty of high fashion.

Valentino: The Last Emperor follows the last two years of his career before he retired. The audience is introduced to Valentino's world of opulence, power, glamour and also a human side, which includes temper tantrums, tears, happiness and the connection with his life partner Giancarlo Giammetti .

The director, Matt Tyrnauer , unravels an honest and engaging story, transcending the superficiality of designers, gowns and shoes. The documentary could have easily morphed into common camp, but instead we experience the celebration of Valentino’s legacy.  Most importantly, you can know nothing about the high fashion world and still appreciate this decadent film.

In an era where fashion is being reduced to tawdry reality shows, Valentino: The Last Emperor reinjects the sophistication and elegance in what some say is a lost artform. At the heart of the film is a 76-year-old man who started with nothing as a boy in Italy and is now considered a living legend. This is the first must-see movie of the year.

Valentino: The Last Emperor opens in New York City today and Los Angeles April 3rd.

Written by Clay Cane


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