Valentino Garavani’s “Master of Couture” exhibition at Somerset House is one of the most -if not the most- spectacular exhibition I have visited the three years I’ve been living in London.
The amazing designs, the exquisite craftsmanship, all revealed through the array of evening gowns, cocktail dresses, skirts and coats, marking Valentino’s genius as a couturier. The 137 sets of clothing from 1959 onwards mark the end of an era with Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri taking up the designing process for the House of Valentino.
Dresses and gowns that have never been exhibited in the past as well as the spectacular wedding gown of Marie Chantal, when she married (our very own) Pavlos the Crown Prince of Greece in 1995, are part of the selection.
Although photos were prohibited my friend Elena managed to sneak a few, as she is a fashion designer herself.
S/S 1993 - White chiffon evening gown with budellini technique detailing
S/S 1959 - Red tulle evening dress with corsage detailing in the skirt using rose couture technique
S/S 2008 - White tulle evening gown with embroidery and organza volant detailing
S/S 2011/12 - Pale green Chantilly lace evening gown with pleated tulle detailing. Designed by Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri
S/S 2007 - White satin organza and tulle evening gown with embroidered and nervature technique detailing
S/S 2005 - Black tulle and lace dress with Swarovski crystals
S/S 1998 - White taffeta hand-painted evening gown
S/S 2007 - White chiffon bouclé ensemble with tulle embroidery detailing
A/W 2011/2012 - Nude tulle evening gown with appliqued velvet flowers. Designed by Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri
A/W 1997/98 - Emerald green feather, lace and satin evening gown with taffeta petticoats
S/S 1968 - White satin evening gown with hand-painted coral design
Last but definitely not least Marie Chantal’s wedding gown, which took twenty-five of Valentino’s seamstresses to make, featuring 12 kinds of lace and a four and a half metre train.
Apart from the amazing designs what is truly impressive is how timeless each design is. Almost every set of Valentino’s clothing from the 50s could be easily worn today, and it would look as good as new.
Should’t be missed!
Somerset House, London WC2R 1LA
Daily 10:00-18:00 till the 3rd of March