Last year, I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to a show during London Fashion Week. Just a fluke favour from a very nice client. This year, the publicly held Valentino exhibit was the closest I came to the fabulous people.

The grandeur of the designs and all encompassing beauty made me seriously regret the Merrell snow boots I was rocking. As I entered the exhibition, I found myself in the hall of Valentino. Highlights of his career decorated the walls and although the room was dimly lit, spotlights illuminated the most important snippets.  I felt like I was backstage at a runway show! The experience became particularly intimate when I started reading Valentino’s personal messages. Congratulations on the new line… Thank you for the flowers… I love the dress… Your attendance is requested… Meryl Streep, Prince Charles and Donatella Versace were among the notable figures who exchanged invitations and letters with Valentino.

Exit the history hall and enter a runway. Lit by a glowing light and lined on either side with mannequins modelling seven decades of Valentino, seeing these delicately designed gowns really made me feel like I was some place special. My favourite? A white taffeta hand-painted evening gown (pictured below). I gotta say, installing an actual runway is pretty cool. How else would most us be able to strut down a runway? One point for the exhibit curator.


The final room was a short series of media bites about Valentino. Although it wasn’t too insightful, I liked hearing from the man that I had just spent the past two hours appreciating and understanding. One titbit I picked up was about Valentino’s relationship of 50 years. In an industry rife with temptations of all kinds, I love that the two are still living, loving and working together so well.

I felt more stylish after that afternoon.


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