Valentino: The Last Emperor
Rated PG-13; Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
Living in Flagstaff keeps many of us far, far away from the fashion runways in Paris. Sure, a few of us Flagstaffians can afford high fashion, but for most of us it’s a challenge just to keep the mud off our hiking boots and wearing something other than grubby jeans. Thus watching a documentary about one of those fashion designers in far off Paris may seem like strange fun, but seeing how the other half lives is a good chunk of the fun in watching movies, and dress designer Valentino leads a life very different from most of us. Living an extravagant existence, we see how Valentino operates in the entertaining documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor.
Dress designer Valentino knows what women want: they want to be beautiful. In this entertaining look at Valentino in Valentino: The Last Emperor we learn how this dress designer works. We certainly do see that he is an emperor of his design kingdom. Director Matt Tyrnauer and his film crew followed Valentino and the multitude of staff that supported Valentino’s fashion empire as Valentino prepared for a major fashion show, plus we see the preparation of a retrospective of Valentino’s 45-year career.
The fun is watching Valentino make his demands of his dedicated workers and watch them live up to those demands, some time temperamentally, but always doing what Valentino asks of them. Valentino’s partner and lover, Giancarlo Giammetti, is also featured as he must deal with Valentino’s temper, but he sometimes wins creative tug-of-wars with Valentino. Watching the life of Valentino’s pug dogs as they follow him at the design studio or on a trip to Switzerland does prove that we’re not the only folks who spoil our dogs, it’s just that some can spoil their dogs magnificently.
The movie is fast moving and often funny, but there are serious moments as we learn about Valentino’s career. He’s dressed Jackie Kennedy, royalty, and movie stars. His love of elegance made him one of the top designers for many years. He even has a shade of red named for him
The DVD also offers wonderful bonus features. Do not miss the segment about what it is like to work for Valentino. My, but it is a very different world than ours. There is also a segment on Valentino’s last collection.
This documentary is not for everyone, but if you enjoy looking at how a successful and demanding designer works, this film offers some good moments, even among its silliness. We may not lead the life of high fashion here in Flagstaff, but that doesn’t mean we can’t sit back and enjoy the concept of Valentino evening gowns.