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Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity Hardcover – February 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (February 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847830837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847830831
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 1.3 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The life and work of an important, yet forgotten figure of 20th-century fashion design." ~The Palm Beach Daily News

“In Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity, Kohle Yohannan has revived the legend of a woman who — as much as her clients Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo — was a legend in her own time.” ~The New York Times

"Valentina preserved an air of mystery that helped solidify her authority on matters of style. The author lifts the veil to reveal… the rags-to-riches American dream narrative." ~Russia! Magazine

"The elusive designer's history is brilliantly researched in this beautiful book...a Must-Have for all fashion enthusiasts..." ~VidCatTV.com

“If only all fashion books were as brilliant as this gorgeous Valentina tome by Kohle Yohannan…” ~1stDibs.com

"In this brilliantly researched book you get 1st hand accounts on everything Valentina- from photos, sketches and her rags to riches tale you will re-discover one other the most important fashion designers of the twentieth century. This exquisite tome is a must for all fashion aficionados. " ~LePetiteBlog.com

"[A] glance back at Valentina's fearless talent could remind frightened designers what audacious fashion is really all about." ~LA2Day.com

"Rizzoli has released an enchanting volume dedicated to the legend...The book's exquisite touches better represent a woman who aimed for the exquisite in all things...savor Yohannan's well-told tale and the expertly reproduced photos in the nearly 300-page volume." ~StudioInternational.com

About the Author

Kohle Yohannan is an art and design historian, and the author of several books. Harold Koda is curator-in-charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exhibition Schedule: Museum of the City of New York, opens February 14, 2009

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Vlek on March 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I had awaited the arrival of this new work by noted art historian Kohle Yohannan with great anticipation. The author's earlier treatments of fashion history were noteworthy not only because, as expected of the genre, they were beautiful objects filled with stunning images, but they took the story of fashion well beyond the industry of clothes making and pretty pictures and into the realm of solid history and good storytelling. With VALENTINA: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity, Yohannan has matured and honed his vision and understanding of the powerful impact that fashion has upon culture. But more compellingly, the author peels away the layers of superficiality often found in such works to reveal just how fashion, and fashion market makers, impact and express culture in profound and unpredictable ways that only begin with the clothes themselves. In Valentina, Yohannan has introduced the reader to a woman who was her own muse, with her own story to be told, and tell it she did, in New York City opera houses and Park Avenue cocktail parties, in chic nightclubs and on the floor of her atelier in the heart of Manhattan's glamorous midtown. As a fashion market maker, Valentina opened an exciting chapter in American culture and showed the women of Hollywood and New York just what mythic creatures they could become, if only they dared to become. But it was Valentina herself who dazzled both high society and the populace of the silver screen with the spectacle of the self-created mythos and the impact of good costuming. Yohannan is a bold storyteller whose vision and keen eye for the Valentina mythos has brought together a stunning collection of original photographs, letters, and other source materials from the colorful life of this extraordinary creature called, Valentina. A superbly produced book that is a delight to hold and a reminder of why printed books are still so very important, Valentina is also an enchanting story that begs to be read from cover to cover.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anne F. Ma on March 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Extremely well written; absolutely gorgeous photos; fascinating, engaging story. An entertaining read and fantastic fashion book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nina Frantzen on March 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a stunning book. The author was clearly bewitched by his subject. His research was meticulous and comprehensive, and the end result is a passionate and thrilling story, about an immigrant artist and the glamorous era in which she became an iconic personality. The fashion photos are exquisite, including many celebrity photos which have never been published before. In addition, early photos of Valentina in the 1920's offer a precious view of the young Russian woman who came to America with dreams and drive. With wit, glamour and creativity she invented her own persona and used it to attract her celebrity clientele. This book provides a wonderful record of her elegant and groundbreaking style.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary K on March 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kohle Yohannan's wonderful book about Valentina is as elegant as the woman herself. Beautifully written, well documented, with fabulous photographs, this is a book to keep forever. Valentina would be proud.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher S. Smallwood on March 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sorry if this offends! BUT, WHAT a one note wonder. This book really is packed with images and really is a wonderful hommage to Valentina. I really liked it but she really encapsulates that over the top 40's look---pre-Dior. Personally, that is my favorite fashion period----before Dior. After all, most women looked good in that kind of uniform look. How many really looked good in Dior? ie, REAL people. Average women really looked bad. Most women don't have that wasp waste....aren't tall enough for HIS look! and wouldn't want padding around their butts! Having said that, 4 stars for Valentina because she really was great in her specific time frame. But her 'look' can also look over done and cheap AND VERY DIVA!...but also that's what makes her fun. But 4 stars because I review lots of fashion books for images and 5 stars is reserved for the original Balanciaga and Vionet and Lanvin...again the originals.
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