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Valentino: The Last Emperor

4.7 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A critically acclaimed look into the life and times of legendary fashion designer Valentino. The film documents the colorful and dramatic closing act of the fashion icons celebrated career, tells the story of his extraordinary life and work, and also explores the larger themes affecting the fashion business today. But at the heart of the film is the unique relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.

Review

A must-see for fashion lovers and pop-culture addicts --The New York Times

Flawless --Time

Amazing... You will adore this. --New York Magazine

Special Features

  • The Perfect Life--Takes the viewer inside Valentino’s homes around the world, revealing the unique lifestyle he’s created for himself and the amount of work it takes to maintain it. In a second chapter, we fly on the private aircraft with Valentino and his entourage to Gstaad for a vacation at the glamorous ski resort. Lastly, we discover Valentino’s residence on Fifth Avenue, as Valentino visits New York for the Costume Institute Benefit Gala.
  • The Last Collection--We see Valentino’s farewell haute couture show. The show took place in January 2008 in Paris, five month after Valentino announced his retirement. Memorable for its all-red finale, the show was a last homage to Valentino’s creative genius, attended by the likes of Uma Thurman, Claudia Schiffer and Muccia Prada.
  • The Red Dress--Takes us inside Valentino’s Rome haute couture workshop where the seamstresses work on the red dress that is featured in the movie. Antonietta De Angelis reveals some of her secrets about dressmaking and working for Valentino.

Product Details

  • Actors: Valentino, Giancarlo Giammetti, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeanne Beker, Anna Wintour
  • Directors: Matt Tyrnauer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Phase 4 Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002EJBZH2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,883 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Valentino: The Last Emperor" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Loves the View VINE VOICE on May 31, 2009
Here is how haute couture is made. Valentino employed 100 seamstresses and owned one sewing machine (which no one would use). In the film, you see how each dress was lovingly designed and assembled and how the 45+ year partnership of Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giametti produced runway show after runway show. These partners clearly inspire the love and loyalty of their staff.

You see the sense of style that pervades the life. The entertaining, the travel, the pampered pets.

While the film is a fully positive portrait of this marvelous fashion house and its two leaders, the future looms. The company was sold in 1998 (and then again). The corporate owners don't appreciate the art and want more handbags, shoes and ready to wear. There are glimpses of this pressure as the film leads up to Rome's "45 Years of Valentino", a retrospective with pageantry worthy of its subject.

The film has a genuine quality. Some shots, being candid, won't have the perfect balance and people hesitate in speech. You see the tension in the preparation for big shows.

While others will not appreciate the film, if you are interested in the art of fashion, this is a must see.
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"Valentino: The Last Emperor" follows the personal and professional life of fashion designer Valentino Garavani from his Spring/Summer 2006 collection to his 45-year retrospective celebration in Rome in July 2007, just months before Valentino retired. That's about a year and a half, a short period in a very long career. But its purpose is not so much to honor Valentino's contributions to women's fashion as to document the changing world of fashion that Valentino survived for 5 decades, remaining in control of his designs and working in his Rome design studio until his retirement at the age of 75.

Valentino's former boyfriend and the business partner responsible for making Valentino SpA an international success, Giancarlo Giammetti, graces this film with multiple interviews. Valentino speaks for himself as well, but we get to know him best by observing the work and bickering behind the scenes in his design studio, runway shows, and at a lavish bash at his Chateau de Wideville outside of Paris. Because this film encompasses the 2007 retrospective celebration, we get some glimpses back in time as well as a look at the process of creating new designs.

At one time, designers made money by selling clothes. In the 1980s, it was licensing. In the 1990s, fashion houses became commodities for international investment companies. Valentino kept on designing through it all. In 1998, Valentino and Giammetti sold the company to HdP. In 2002, Valentino SpA was sold to Marzotto Group -and this film witnesses some of the clashes of priorities between Valentino and Mateo Marzotto. We watch as the company is sold in 2007 to Peramira LLC, a private equity company whose goal is clearly to make money.
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Recommended to me by another "Amazonian" who also appreciates great design, this retrospective on Valentino's work and career is just wonderful. He is a man of some mystery and he actually maintains quite a bit of that. However, for his clothes, his design and his methods, he keeps few secrets in this documentary. He lives his life like someone who has nothing else to prove - which at this point, he doesn't.

Actually, some of my favorite parts of this doc are those filmed at Valentino's homes. Watching his majordomo and team of staff prepare for parties and their employer's comings and goings is quite extraordinary. I loved the footage in which rugs were changed out for an upcoming "do" at the chateau. I especially liked the story behind his acquisition and restoration of his chateau. The end result of his touch (and considerable investment) is just stunning.

If you love beauty and enjoy looking at oppulence, you will find this documentary very pleasing. The best part for me is watching Valentino's designs. Just flawless!
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If you are a fan of Valentino's style, or feminine dresses which make women look like women--think Audrey Hepburn style--you will enjoy this behind the scenes documentary about Valentino and his clothes. You see him sketching a design, fitting a model, critiquing one of his creations, reigning over one of his shows and spoiling his 5 or so pugs.

You also view his homes, his vacations, and gain insight into his private life with his partner of 45 years, Giancarlo. Giancarlo helped him make turn his fashion business into an empire and now it is in a transition stage in which a corporation owns it outright. Will Valentino retire at 75 or keep designing?

You see his final bow in which hundreds of his dresses are on view and fashion folks from all over the world come to honor him and see his best work and final show. This is a splendid documentary on the legend that is Valentino and gives you a glimpse of the haute couture world. There are subtitles. But I loved listening to the Italian and French.

If you love fashion, design and Valentino, you will not be disappointed.
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