First Look: Valentino: The Last Emperor

Valentino Garavani.jpg

I went to today's screening of Valentino: The Last Emperor, even though it was in the middle of the day / I don't think pugs are cute / it was way above 14th Street.

But then there was free popcorn, and Andre Leon Talley sat in the seat behind me. The movie started, and it was awesome.

The documentary opens with Valentino's Spring 06 collection, looks back on the Dolce Vita days and ends with his three day Roman blowout and retirement.

It's part love story (him and Giancarlo), and part tragic end of an era (of couturiers that simply won't exist again). It's about a man who's wants nothing more than to make women feel beautiful but who can't, or won't, find a way to fit into a changed industry, and I totally cried at the end.

But the best bits, which happen all though the movie right up until that final runway bow and Valentino's heartfelt tears, are all the hysterical Odd Couple moments between Valentino and Giancarlo. They bicker over sets, over models, over pleats, and when Giancarlo asks Valentino why he's using pink for his finale dresses instead of red, Valentino responds, disgusted, "Enough with the red! The red dresses are the most simple, the most stupid!"

Giancarlo says, "To be with Valentino as a friend, as a lover, as an employee - it's all the same. You need a lot of patience." And then he tells Valentino he's too tan, which was, I think, Andre's favorite moment.

Mine? When Karl Lagerfeld congratulated Valentino, "This is how it's done. Compared to us, all the rest are making rags!"

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