Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Signore Valentino Garavani

Took my Mondayitis cheap skate self off to the Nova Cinema to see Valentino, what a treat! I needed some inspiration, but I got a whole lot more, including many laughs - who knew haute couture was so funny?

Loved loved loved seeing him in action, draping fabric to show his seamstresses how it all should go, can someone explain to me when the pattern gets made in draping? Do you drape, then cut, then fit, then adjust, then make the pattern? It makes a lot of sense to me that you would first put the fabric onto the form, instead of starting with paper and then seeing what it would look like on the body.

While watching the seamstresses working in their studio, I looked all over the room and guess what - NOT A SINGLE SEWING MACHINE. Everything done by hand, everything! Valentino's partner Giancarlo Giametti mentioned that once they did buy a sewing machine, when there were over 100 seamstresses there, but nobody ever used it, so they sold it. Fair enough.

Sure there is a lot of pomp in the world of Valentino, but I think he's entitled. He's on his way to 80 years of age, and as someone mentioned in the film, the techniques he is using were learned in the 1950s, from people who had learned them in the 1920s, and that is a huge skill-set that is difficult to find these days.

Sad to see his company bought out by the big business folk, and then for him to retire and be replaced by young whipper snappers, who must be quaking in their boots at the enormity of the legacy they are now representing. Wonderful, however, to see the working relationship between Valentino and Giancarlo, bickering, affectionate, patient, these men have been together almost everyday for 45 years.

'An evening gown which shows a woman's ankles as she walks, is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen'. Gold!


Anonymous said...

Yes, you're right. You drape/ cut/ fit/ mark in your seamlines (usually using muslin/ calico), and then you get the pattern from the draped/ cut pieces.

Paul Overton said...

Emma - Great post. I'm going to have to see that when it opens stateside. Thanks for hipping me to it. Cheers

Angela said...

Thanks for the recommendation, I think I might take myself along to see the movie!