Arrivederci, Signor Valentino

I beg your indulgence for a little time spent in the Real World, but with something that has probably touched every fashion maven in Second Life as well.

Chrisy Jewell has done a brief appreciation of the Italian fashion designer Valentino, who isValentino says farewell at his final spring/summer show (Reuters — Benoit Tessier) finally hanging it up on the clothes rail after some 75 years of life and 45 of them in the rag business. His last spring/summer show, according to Reuters, finished up with a parade of models in his signature lipstick red dresses forming a walkway, down which the Italian maestro came for his bows, as well as waves of farewell to the fashion press (see photo). According to the article, his retirement is seen as the departure of the last of the great individual couturiers, celebrities in their own right.

Pair of gowns from the Eighties by ValentinoThe fashion life of the Grid certainly has a lot to thank Signor Garavani (his actual last name) for. Probably half, if not all, of the women avatars in Second Life own at least one ball gown; and the love of floor-sweeping hems, bright jewel tones and accents such as bows and ruffles comes from designers such as Valentino. In an age when fashion is often meant more to shock than impress, Valentino stood for the age-old mystique of the beautiful woman, who dressed to enhance her femininity — and yet still be a part of the modern age. The proof is in the number of socialites and movie stars who frequented the couturier’s house for so many years. The maestro, along with such stalwarts as Giorgio Armani, helped bring back tasteful dressing to the red carpets in the Nineties after some of the more disastrous excesses of the late Eighties. (Just find any decent, up-to-date book or Web site on Oscar fashion, and you’ll see what I mean.)

Buona fortuna, maestro. Like I suggested in the comment I made on Chrisy’s blog, perhaps you won’t give up entirely, but will come on in to SL and open an atelier….

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