Film which travels inside the world of one of Italy's most famous fashion designers, Valentino Garavani, documenting the colourful and dramatic closing act of his feted career.
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No, no, no, no.
No, no, no, no.
How does it feel being the only designer in the world who's managed to last 45 years?
-I feel wonderful.
-Do you ever think of retiring and giving up?
Maybe one day, certainly! I cannot!
What is the idea of glamour?
This is my blood, you know?
What I do. Like I love a beautiful lady,
I love a beautiful dog, I love a beautiful piece of furniture.
I love beauty. It's not my fault.
What do women want?
-I know, I know, I know what women want.
-And what do they want?
They want to be beautiful.
Girls, now, now, now, now, now!
MUSIC: "Bette Davis Eyes" By Kim Carnes
# Her hair is Harlow gold
# Her lips are sweet surprise
# Her hands are never cold
# She got Bette Davis eyes She turn her music on you
# You won't have to think twice
# She's pure as New York snow
# She got Bette Davis eyes
# And she'll tease you She'll unease you
# All the better just to please you
# She's precocious
# And she knows just what it takes To make a pro blush
# She got Greta Garbo stand-off sighs She's got Bette Davis eyes
# She'll expose you When she snows you
# Off your feet with the crumbs She throws you
# She's ferocious
# And she knows just what it takes To make a pro blush
# All the boys think she's a spy She's got Bette Davis eyes... #
# And she'll tease you She'll unease you
# All the better Just to please you... #
-45 years later...
-..and Valentino is still leading the way in glamour.
Sexy! I had a hard-on the whole time.
Valentino's haute couture show has sparked rumours Valentino may be about to retire.
But the designer, who's in his seventies,
-And it was quite moving, as well,
the show. I hope it won't be his last.
Everybody was standing up and cheering, and I think he felt very emotional.
Valentino told us a story, and it still is a good story, and it's like a book.
You read a chapter and you go on, and we want to arrive to a good ending.
Was there ever a time, Valentino, when you didn't want to be in fashion?
-You can never remember...
I mean, even, you never wanted to be a fireman or a...
-..train driver or...?
-No, no, no.
I remember very well when I was young I was faking to sleep.
-Pretending to sleep.
-And I was dreaming, dreaming about
movie star, dreaming about everything beautiful in the world.
My mother say, "You are a dreamer, you always dream,
"dream, dream, dream about stupid things."
I was always so attract by magazines,
I had a sister. She took me for the first time
to see some films and to meet a dream of my life, to see those beautiful lady of the silver screen.
# Stepped out of a dream
# You are too wonderful
# To be what you seem. #
I remember Ziegfeld Girl. Hedy Lamarr,
Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart...
You know, for me, a young guy of thirteen,
to see this sort of beauty,
I think, from that moment, I decide I want to create clothes for ladies.
Dolce Vita was very, very early.
I mean, it was middle of the Fifties, close to the Sixties.
And Via Veneto was the place where you stay at night and watch all those famous people pass by.
The famous people were called Sophia Loren,
Anita Ekberg, Elizabeth Taylor...
I was in Rome for a very, very, very short time.
Yes, they had seen a few pictures of me around.
So there was a lot of publicity about this young, young designer arriving from Paris,
opening this grand - because when Valentino start, he thought that
fashion should be like in Paris, so a huge house,
modern ideas from France.
It was the 31st July 1960, and I was sitting in this table
in a very, very crowded cafe,
which was the Cafe de Paris, it was called.
Suddenly, somebody came to me and say, "Are you alone?" I say yes.
"Oh, would you mind if we sit? We are two friends here."
He said, "I've seen your pictures in the cover of a magazine.
"I would love to see your fashion house."
And he came - it was my first fashion house.
In September, we all come back from vacation,
and I understand that Valentino has had problems
because the company went bankrupt, the first Valentino company.
And that's when I arrived. But I didn't have any experience.
I was just a student.
But I had a little maybe better good sense than Valentino,
I mean better understanding about three plus three makes six.
And strange enough, the moment we met,
the moment that we start to work together, luck change completely.
And in '68, I did a white, white collection.
All the magazines - Time, Life - they wrote fantastic articles about it.
And this was my beginning, the beginning of my career with all the silver-screen movie stars.
Uno, due, tre, quattro...
Uno, due, tre. Uno, due...
Uno, due, tre e quattro.
drawings that I've been doing during the years.
And the one I wanted to use for the show.
So, if we can do a stage, this is the background.
In fact, what I think is going to be beautiful is the sky.
It will be motion, it will be a film.
This is the dress that I wake up early in the morning and I was pissed off because I didn't like
the previous dress, and I change it for this one.
You see? The last minute, the last minute you did a miracle
of the collection.
Ecco... Va bene. OK. OK, OK.
We're all ready.
OK! Sometimes I don't know which language I'm speaking any more!
Where is Princess Rosario?
Already in Paris. She'll meet you for lunch.
-My groom is coming with us.
-He's in the car.
-When in the car?
No, they're staying here, sir.
-They stay here?
-Yeah. You don't need anyone, do you?
-No, no, no.
OK, that's that part done.
This is my partner, Matteo Marzotto.
Of course, you met him,
in the meeting. You know about him.
Can you lower the music a second?
And we get along very well.
I make him spend a lot of money.
-And I'm teaching one good lesson.
At least, at least one every day.
I've been always tempted to sell the business to somebody who could run it with me, help me.
The business was getting enormous, enormous, enormous, so I was always thinking, "Oh,
"maybe I'm not good enough, I'm not rich enough, I'm not smart enough."
So I was always thinking and listening to people who came.
"Why don't you associate with me?
"Why don't we buy the company?"
I think Giancarlo understood the market and sold the company exactly at the right time.
This is the really tough cookie, you know?
We have had the most bloody,
most terrible fights, me and him.
He can be such a difficult guy
as well as being a very sweet one.
But I don't think Valentino would have been the same without Giancarlo,
not even a half and not even one third of it.
Try to think how long is this relationship,
which is 365 days a year, 24 hours,
since 50 years. This is unique.
And you cannot even say it's for money, for the power, for the what?
Many, many years ago, when we start
my career, we did a beautiful...
Ah, it's too long!
You know, I'm still amazed when Valentino arrives to the show
and he see a set.
Yeah, he pass by, "Oh, nice."
"You like it?" "Yes," And goes.
I mean, with our problems, we don't touch him.
He doesn't realise, really, the work behind this business,
behind a sketch of a dress.
So, what you would love to do?
I'm going to do something a bit more edgy
and big and wild and kind of Guy Bourdin-ish.
Yeah? You don't like chignons?
Er, I mean, I was going to try a chignon, but I was thinking something a little bit more edgy.
I don't want a crazy girl.
-I want beautiful but something strong also.
This, you do all this little, this sort of...
Yeah, volume, and there's kind of a softness, but it's extreme, because it's big.
"If a fly gets in"?!
No, no, no, no, no.
To be with Valentino as a friend, as a lover,
as...as an employee
is a bit the same. You need a lot of patience.
How are you? Happy you're here!
Well, you know, it's every season we bite our nails, thinking,
"Could this be the last one he's doing?
"Because he deserves to take some time off now." But...
We'll see. We'll see.
I can understand when Valentino get nervous if somebody's too much asking about his future.
Yeah, just one hour, huh?
-We are going to make it!
-Valentino is the last couturier. He's the real thing.
But if there will be soon a day in which he says, "I want to slow down,"
I understand it.
Valentino, as an icon, has to decide what to do. And only himself can decide.
But I have to find the right...
Valentino of the future.
They have to go out, so don't do so many pictures.
They have to go out first, OK?
And go! Go! Go!
Pronto, Valentino arriva!
Arriva Valentino, Valentino, Valentino, Valentino!
Karl Lagerfeld was the first. I got roses last evening, with a beautiful letter, fantastic.
And now I start to receive flower.
And they said, "Nobody from Italy?"
I said, "No, not yet." And now it's Giorgio Armani!
He will never tell you -
or tell me, especially - directly how much he care or how much he's
grateful or how much he understand what you did for him.
Madame Gabriela Battiti,
Monsieur Carlo Souza.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Monsieur Giancarlo Giammetti...
-Everything is ready.
-No, it's cold.
-Yeah, I've ordered the heaters this afternoon, just to be on the safe side.
On the two far tables, as you see, we have had to use those chairs.
-How are you? Let's not delay. Look at this weather!
Isn't it terrible?
Stop all fighting over this beautiful lady.
Tammy, we're having apple torte again, hopefully. Great!
It's Joan Collins!
I've seen you in the papers.
Seen him in the papers!
Oh, that's wonderful.
Oh, darling, I'll have some champagne.
Congratulations to Signor Valentino.
We all feel that Valentino so deserves this award, as you do, too.
Hm. I got half of it, I'm sure, I feel.
They want to cut open...
-We do, but not until you're in there.
-No, they're asking.
-They want to do it now, because it's very warm inside.
Can you bear not to be here, all year, to see it?
When I stop working.
Will you spend more time here? But you won't stop working.
I don't know when. One day.
I don't know.
The thing is, you can't work a bit, can you? You either have to do it or not do it.
Many collection or nothing!
It's dangerous. People that work so hard,
my mother, who worked very hard, I was scared when she stopped working.
-I thought she would...
-Not at all!
-..have a problem, but...
You'd just be Valentino. She's now Mrs Nayar.
All day, is doing what she was doing without the business. But it's house, it's friends...
When I am in a city for a little while, but I'm never more than three or four days.
No, I know. For fifty years you've probably been doing that - running, running, running.
It's always so rough.
My future? I don't know, really, what's going on.
I am a little confused.
I live day by day.
I love to, certainly, to prepare my collection.
But you know, I am so interested to so many other things, then it's pity
not to have the time to take care, also.
Of course, Valentino created a world for himself, and he wants to stay in that world.
You have to choose between going on until the end of your life
or until somebody tell you, you know, "We need somebody else now,"
or you decide to go.
Is a difficult step.
And I'm not sure Valentino really wants to change his,
you know, own lifestyle after so many years.
After so many decade, after so much work, after so much freedom,
you can imagine me accepting the Marzotto telling me,
"No, you have not to do this, you have not to do that"?
I would hate them!
Valentino is above control, Valentino is...
above partnership, er...decisions.
Valentino doesn't care.
Valentino does what he wants. Valentino is Valentino.
You know, the Ara Pacis, this modern museum in the centre of Rome...
I say, "Well, let me go inside."
So I went inside, I did a six step and I call Daniella, and I say,
"Daniella, move everything to Rome.
"I've found the place where to do the retrospective is Rome."
And then we start all over again in Rome.
Uno, due, tre...
(CHANTING) Valentino! Valentino!
For me, this part has to have a lot of dresses in,
otherwise, really, we are in trouble with Valentino.
He tell everybody there will be 300 dresses.
I cannot tell him now it will be 220, 230.
If you're saying there's magic number, it's 300 and that's what it has to be,
then we have to find a way of dealing with this.
-How are you?
-Hamish. How do you do?
Oh, my God, I can't believe it...
-Did you see this?
So, this is the idea.
He will arrive here and he will see all the scene.
We have to choose one amazing gown for here.
Like a super-iconic thing, like the Julia Roberts thing or something.
Being back in my city, because it's 45 years of my career, I am trying to put together
a show extremely haute couture, a very, very important collection.
-But anyway, this is a much better room.
-I don't feel comfortable. The entrance is very sad.
But it is going to change.
No, but, you know, you have walls, and they are higher than this room. They are so dirty.
You know, but because you have never been to the bazaar in Paris.
It is dirty, disgusting when you get there.
We do couture there.
You have never been in a place, before we do the solution.
Don't worry. Trust me.
One spends one's whole life dealing with something that is not
working and turning it into something that is working. That is what we do.
And you will have your 300 dresses in the Ara Pacis.
I'll have 300 dresses. You still like the Ara Pacis?
I like what is happening to the Ara Pacis,
and I like where we're going. I think it's going to be...
No, but you know, I never liked the Ara Pacis.
stairs, they go down with all these little things.
You look like you are at Macy's.
He hate the rails.
Well, we don't want to have nasty rails.
Valentino fashion where he gets in fantasy and he mix Russia with China.
That what I want to explain to our guests, something of the fantasy of a couturier.
For the other night, we have this amazing location, where only the Pope can go once a year.
We are thinking more open-air nightclub.
It's like a big party.
-This is where we're going to put the columns, here.
These are fibreglass, and they're going to change lighting?
Where did you decide to put the bathrooms?
He doesn't like very much!
Michael, can you call at home Mr Giammetti to see if he's there?
Why you don't come here for one day,
I mean, to stay with us?
No? Would be nice.
No, because the two of us speak French most of the time.
When I arrive from France, for me, it was really my second language,
and I was much too used to speak French.
So I teach him the French language, and after, I always direct him...
direct myself to him in French.
I am a special case, because we went for so long.
In our case, is probably a mile ago!
Because I've never seen two people so close for so many years
not being married.
You understand that I've seen Valentino
almost every day in my life, except maybe...
in 45 years at the total, two months.
-Valentino is an Italian dress designer whose name is known around the world...
-Two cam, left slowly...
In the Seventies and the Eighties, Valentino and I work very hard to grow the company,
and the company became thirty, forty times larger.
Today, there is another language, which is money.
There's been a lot of news about needing more handbags, more belts
and more fragrances and all the things that are really making most fashion houses all the money.
The runway shows, the couture shows, they don't make money.
Those are the image things that get the name out there.
Then it's all the other accessories that really bring it all in.
You know, we are from north-east of Italy, so we have to take care of figures, not only style.
Today's designer has more a manager attitude than pure creativity.
One of our needs is being on the market and looking around
and try to have an idea what is "on the next", let's say.
I've been looking at designers since many, many years.
Almost immediately after we sold the company in 1998, I knew that one day Valentino will decide to stop.
You know, Matteo can say anything he wants,
Matteo has no power in this company.
He's a young guy, he's very simpatico, I like him as a friend.
But whatever he says
has no value to me.
No, no, no, no.
This is Euronews, with the news on the hour.
Almost 30% of the Valentino fashion group, founded by 75-year-old Valentino Garavani,
has been purchased by private-equity firm Permira for 782 million euros.
Of course, the luxury sector, as well as the fashion sector, could be affected.
The shares were sold by members of Italy's Marzotto family.
It's now the largest investor and is looking to buy a larger stake.
Despite the buy-out, Matteo Marzotto will be remaining as chairman of Valentino.
I think that is something that would be very fast, with a tender offer.
And we are expecting that in one to two months,
the Permira Group would be really in charge of everything
and will control the majority of the company.
Fashion's such a huge business now, and investment bankers are really determining the future of this.
And Valentino wasn't consulted on any of these developments
about the sale of the company.
Valentino has a contract through July, as I understand it,
which possibly could be renewed and is likely not to be.
If I were he, I would say, "Take me out, but only feet-first."
It's possible that this company could make the mistake and take it the way of,
you know, Halston in the past
or Cardin, which is belt buckles and duty-free handbags...
We are in a position to wait and see.
We are sure that if somebody buy for such a huge amount of money, they don't want to destroy
that, kind of, special product that Valentino give all his life.
But it doesn't mean you're going to retire?
-Those rumours said that...
But rumours, they say so many thing.
This was the best thing for me, to design and create dresses.
I always did this. I am not capable to do anything else.
I am a disaster in everything else.
My first suit, embroidered suit.
-This is '66.
-This was Audrey Hepburn.
-This was Audrey.
-I did for her.
So what we've tried to do is also get quite a lot of early things...
To do those embroidery today, you need to sell Italian Bank.
I know, look at the quality.
So many things I did.
This is Jackie, yes?
Yes, this. If I have to flashback
all those past decades,
they were so, so, so...
-But time, you become older and older and older and not realise!
Not for the moment, no.
-Not for the moment.
-Not for the moment.
Because people ask why 45th year anniversary is a big deal, why not...
That means that if you see me today, like I am, it's 45.
I can go on till 50, 60, I don't know. Forever, OK?
We've been fighting really bad wars
and with a vein like this on the neck, really high pressure.
Now he's trying to say something.
It's like an old lion, you know?
He try to roar like this, but there is no voice.
I never thought this was the way to do business.
I always did business because I want those clothes to be on women,
on men, for Valentino to be famous, to be happy.
So, it's been a long work, this, no?
It has been one year work.
And he's very excited, I guess, Valentino?
Yeah. He seems so.
I try, as always, to give to him a nice part of the event and to keep all the problem for myself.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the fate of Valentino is now in the hands of financiers
and it's unclear whether Valentino would stay on, under a new owner.
Alessandra Facchinetti, who replaced Tom Ford as Gucci's woman's wear designer,
is the front runner to succeed Valentino, should he retire
later this summer. This, according to Women's Wear Daily.
It would be very much the end of an era, for many reasons.
There's no-one who can replace or succeed Valentino. If you weren't learning about couture
in the 1950s from people who learned the craft in the 1920s, you're not going to get any more information.
Valentino will celebrate his 45th anniversary in the biz with a couture show in Rome, on July 6th.
Many believe the bash is a sign that Valentino will retire soon.
Valentino has denied those reports.
They will have shoes, all of them?
-"Yes." You're not sure.
-No, no, for sure.
We've been painting the...
I am here to decide something very important, and I don't want to be filmed! I'm sorry.
OK? Otherwise I go.
And I go. Bye-bye.
No, no, no, no, no.
Checking up in the room. In each hotel is going to be a room,
a suite, with hairdresser, manicurist and make-up.
E piu belli bambini al mondo!
Didn't even call me to say, "Welcome to Rome".
-You don't know what is the morning, this morning...
-Just a little number here.
Oh, my God! Fabulous!
My first couture, Valentino. It's better late than never!
Oh, it's so extraordinary! And it's so Valentino.
That's all you have to do, honey.
You should've made me one for every hour.
Oh, my God! I cannot even tell you!
Grazie, grazie, grazie!
-It's a little bit long.
-It's a little bit long? Hem it up.
She's a lot of work.
We're in Rome, where the fashion world has congregated
for the festivities surrounding the 45th anniversary celebration of Valentino.
We'll bring you complete coverage of this extraordinary weekend
on an upcoming episode of Fashion Television.
Being in Rome, it's so hot and steamy and romantic!
Uma, can we have a quick comment?
-Is that Valentino?
-Yes, it is.
She's wearing Valentino as well. Couture. Get me with Jennifer!
I have no idea!
Today, we are here to celebrate with our friends, our colleagues
this amazing career for my dear friend, Valentino.
And he still design the same way.
Fame and fortune didn't change him, he's still the same little guy I met 45 years ago.
Congratulations. I can't believe it!
Be strong, sophisticated, very feminine
and show what is haute couture.
Everybody's here. Et un, deux, trois, music!
OK. Oh, my God, she's still standing!
The pace has to be very strong and fast.
Go, go, go!
No, it's already going... No, she's not ready!
Valentino! Arriva Valentino!
MUSIC: "O Mio Babbino Caro" by Giacomo Puccini
Let's get you two together for a shot.
Every dress, every girl, every movement of her feather or ruffle.
But there's so much restraint and exuberance.
That pink thing that, like...
it's just a breakthrough moment here.
Triumph of the will.
Triumph of the will!
The will to continue to be.
You're just beginning. You're just beginning over!
Your career is just beginning.
You are a little guy about to begin!
I begin in my career...
You're beginning your career again. Today!
MUSIC: "O Mio Babbino Caro" by Giacomo Puccini
The world today, the world of fashion today, is very, very, very different.
If there is a reason for Valentino to stop one day,
that's the reason, that it is not a world made for him.
And Valentino will be the last one of that generation, of a big name
that has still his name on his company,
who will define the difference between yesterday and today.
A lot of people will say no-one can replace you.
You know what means?
Subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Film which travels inside the singular world of one of Italy's most famous fashion designers, Valentino Garavani, documenting the colourful and dramatic closing act of his celebrated career and capturing the end of an era in global fashion.
However, at the heart of the film is a love story - the unique relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti. Capturing intimate moments in the lives of two of Italy's richest and most famous men, the film lifts the curtain on the final act of a nearly 50-year reign at the top of the glamorous and fiercely competitive world of fashion.