“It has been 22 years since I set foot at the Palazzo Mignanelli, together with Maria Grazia Chiuri, to design home accessories: for eight years I have worked with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, then in a team with Maria Grazia, then alone. My story is largely in line with his story: for me he is not only a creator, emperor of fashion, a legend known to everyone, but a part of me. ” Pierpaolo Piccioli rarely speaks of his teacher, rather than in words, but in the language of fashion; with his works which have the honor and the burden of preserving his legacy Valentino Garavani. Now, however, on the occasion of the 90th birthday of the designer devoted to history as Fashion’s “Last Emperor”Piccioli devoted a cordial letter to him published in the latest issue of “D – Republic“. A text in which the creative director Maison Valentino traces the interweaving of his personal history with the story of the “tailor Voghera” in the century Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavaniwhich today, May 11, is 90 years old
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“When I speak of Valentino, I am also talking about myself. I got to know Valentino through photos of photographers and magazine pages, standing in the crowd on via Condotti to watch his fashion shows at Donna sotto le Stelle trying to catch Dalma and Pat Cleveland on the runway, Piccioli says. When I came here I saw my first haute couture dress up close and that is why I have always dreamed of working for Yves Saint Laurent or Valentino Garavani: they were the last real fashion designers and I wanted to learn from them. ” And if Saint Laurent made black his color par excellence, Valentino Garavani sacrificed red forever, Valentino red, making it a symbol of elegance, sophistication, exclusivity, luxury and magic. Legend has it that the designer fell in love with him during a trip to Spain, in Barcelona, while still an apprentice at Jean Dessès Paris atelier. Before him, Christian Dior tried as early as 1947 to introduce this color on the catwalk, but was forced to resign, because at that time he was still considered vulgar, too bold, absolutely unsuitable for “ladies”. However, in the 1960s times changed, the woman was no longer just a wife or lover, she was a movie diva or a charismatic muse like Jackie Onassis, ideal models embodying the ideal of absolute beauty, which Valentino was striving for in his clothes. He lived and worked between two eras, the last representative of this sublime high fashion, typical of the first half of the 20th century, which he managed to combine in a new haute couture aimed at modern men and women, thanks to which the world discovers the existence of what we now call “Made in Italy”knowledge built from exceptional creative enthusiasm combined with a centuries-old craft tradition.
“I would never have made a collar dress the same that he made for his sister because of his work: for me the true homage is the one paid without reverence, respecting his spirit – Pierpaolo Piccioli still writes in his stream of consciousness in the pages of “D” -. And Valentino’s goal has always been to find absolute beauty, no matter what surrounds him. On the other hand, I can’t help but absorb what surrounds me, but I’ve learned to translate it into beauty. And beauty must respect modern canons, which I am doing here today: I do not reveal its research, but modify its parameters. ” Of course, from her Monsieur Valentino, she had the honor of dressing up virtually all of the greatest style icons of the 20th century, models, New York regulars, the First Lady and stage conductors who competed for her favor, influencing her style and contributing to feeding his fashion myth. And his ego. Images that show him in a tuxedo and a white scarf over the shoulder of his icons, dby Diana Vreeland by Jaqueline Onassis by Sophia Loren fine by Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bündchen are now history.
“What I liked most about working with him was learning about the human value of fashion. Let’s be clear, Valentino knows how to strike when he wants to, but he does it with innocence without malice. He used to be furious that the bags got stuck in the snow on the way to Paris and therefore would not be able to see them before the parade: “No problem, as soon as they arrive, I throw them out of the window in Place Vendôme,” he repeated. Then, when he saw them, he showed them without blinking an eye. He liked them, ”recalls Piccioli, who worked hand in hand with him for ten years, until September 4, 2007. The day Valentino Garavani said goodbye to fashion, a fashion show that went down in history for three days. exclusive celebrations in his Rome from one thousand to one nights and celebrities from all over the world. The same ones who loved and followed him in his 47-year career and who were then a beloved companion and trusted partner of Giancarlo Giammetti, who had to deal with his crazy celebrity whims. Now, because of this pandemic that has revolutionized our approach to society, there is no pharaoh festival or masquerade ball in a french castle scheduled for Valentino Garavani’s 90th anniversary, simply an intimate party with his colleagues and friends of all time, at his estate on Appia Antica in the capital. Although we know that he never reads articles about him, “I did this for both of us“Giammetti a Republic, the punctual defender of the magic bubble in which the designer has always lived, we wish to send him our most genuine wishes. Happy birthday, Mr. Quiet sympathy!