Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008) - full transcript

A story of friendship, a retrospective, and a look at haute couture as business: we watch Valentino Garavani (1932- ) and partner Giancarlo Giammetti from preparation for the 2006 Spring/Summer Collection in Paris to a July 2007 retrospective of Valentino's 45-year career, which included dressing Jacqueline Kennedy. The film documents a year of work, shows, business changes, and decisions. We follow a creation from sketch to runway: he's always in pursuit of beauty. We're in Paris, Rome, and Venice. He receives the French Legion of Honor medal; his acceptance speech brings tears. Reporters ask when he'll retire. Is the Roman retrospective his career's finale? Cue Puccini.



Should we do her in fur?

No, no, no.


Absolutely not.

How does it feel
being the only designer in the world

who has managed to last
45 years?

I feel wonderful.

Do you ever think of retiring

- and giving up?
- Well, maybe one day certainly.

How would you define,
in one word,

your choice to live in
another man's shadow?

Even a significant one.


How long have you,
Matteo Marzotto,

owned Valentino?

I acquired it

June 30, 2002.

I'll expect you all in July

for my big return to Rome.

Are you happy to celebrate

- 45 years in Rome?
- Yes, very much.

They should go out.

Why do they stay here?

What is the idea of glamour?

This is in my blood,
you know.

What I have to do?

Like I love a beautiful lady,

I love a beautiful dog,
I love a beautiful piece of furniture.

I love beauty.
It's not my fault.

What do women want?

Yeah, I know, I know,
I know what women want.

What do they want?

They want to be beautiful.

Wonderful, wonderful.

Forty-five years later,

and Valentino
is still leading the way in glamour.

Sexy, molto.

I had a hard-on the whole time.

Valentino's Haute Couture show
has sparked rumours

Valentino may be about to retire.

But the designer,
who's in his 70s, denied it.

And it was quite moving as well,
the show.

I hope it won't be his last one.

And everyone was standing up
and cheering

and I think he felt very emotional.

So beautiful.
So beautiful.

Valentino told us a story,
and it still is a good story.

It is like a book.
You read a chapter and go on,

and we want to arrive it
to a good ending.

There's a small problem.

The dogs are taking up
two seats.

we'll take two dogs.

Who is going to
hold this for me?

You see, the draping
goes like this.

Like that.

And the same thing
on the other side.

Here you have the bow.

And underneath,

the pleating
comes down like this.

- Did you understand?
- Yes.

So when it's ready,
we'll try it.

Everything by hand.

Once we bought
a sewing machine.

One machine
for a hundred seamstresses.

No one ever used it.

It's a world that people
don't know about.

You have to be born
with Haute Couture,

because you don't learn it
in fashion school.

Was there ever a time,

when you didn't want
to be in fashion?

- No.
- You could never remember--?

I mean, even you never wanted to be
like a fireman,

or a train driver?

No, no, no.

I remember very well
when I was young,

- I was faking to sleep.
- Pretending to sleep.

And I was dreaming,

dreaming about movie stars,

dreaming about everything beautiful
in the world.

My mother used to say,
""You are a dreamer.""

""You always dream,
dream, dream, dream

about stupid things,""
she used to say.

I was always so attracted

by magazines, by films.

I had a sister,
and she took me for the first time

to see some films.

And to me,
the dream of my life

was to see those beautiful ladies
of the silver screen.

I remember Ziegfeld girl--

Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner,

Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart.

You know, for me,
a young guy of 1 3,

to see this sort of beauty,

I think from that moment

I decided I want to
create clothes for ladies.

You didn't even undo this.

Where did you go?

Everything is undone
underneath here.

Didn't you see
this was becoming a mess?

How many times
do I need to explain?

I'm really fed up.

Really fed up.

Where is it?
I can't wait here all day.

We only have three days
to Paris.

They're not answering.

Give it to me.

If he gets angry,
it'll be even worse.

Where do you
take it out from?

Go up and see
if she's coming.

Oh, finally,
it's Michela.

Is she coming down?
Thank you.

So Antonietta
is getting the shoes.

Let's prepare the dress
with the paper.

I don't care about the paper,
I'll take it like this.

It's going to get caught
in the chair!

I don't care!
I'm pissed off now.

hang on a second.

- Calm down.
- No, I don't care.

You have to call
Mr. Giammetti.

Because he wants
to see this.

What can we do
to get rid of these?

If I do it now,
it will fall apart.

Oh, you're almost
at the end of the fabric.


That's what I call
an evening gown.

That's what I call
an evening gown.

- For evening?
- Yes.

No, daytime.

It's a bit opaque
in the front, the skirt.

It's two different

You can see
right through it.

Don't get carried away.

No, but--

Excuse me,
I can see her legs!

I can see her legs
even under these lights.

I make dresses for women
who actually wear them.

Tomorrow I have to do
more fittings

for the collection.

Yesterday morning,
I woke up

and I had this dress
on my mind.

A white dress
that I would like to do.

Something very playful.

- Short or long?
- No, long, long.

- It's nice here.
- Beautiful.

We'll stop on Via Veneto
for a second.

- Via Veneto, no!
- Yes!

- What for?
- For a coffee.

We can tell the story
of how we met.

No. No.

But it's important!
Everything began there.

No, no, no, no.
I'm not interested.

It's my nature, you know.

I only remember the things

I want to remember.

I don't recognize
any of these stores anymore.

But Gargani is still here.

I haven't walked
on Via Veneto

since the days of
La Dolce Vita.

La Dolce Vita was very,
very early,

and it was in the middle of the 50s,

close to the 60s.

Via Veneto was the place
where you'd stay at night

and watch all the famous people
passing by.

And the famous people
were Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg,

Elizabeth Taylor.

You know,
important people come here,

they make news,
we take pictures--

I was in Rome for a very,
very short time.

Yes, there were
a few pictures of me around.

So there was a lot of publicity
about this young, young designer

arriving from Paris
and opening this grand--

Because when Valentino started,

he thought that fashion
should be like in Paris:

so a huge house,
models arriving from France.

This is not Cafe de Paris.

It was the 3 1 st of July, 1 960,

and I was sitting at this table

in a very, very crowded cafe,

which was the Cafe De Paris,
as it was called.

Suddenly, somebody came to me
and said ""Are you alone?""

I said ""Yes.""
""Oh, would you mind if we sit?

We are three friends here.""

He said ""I've seen your pictures

on the cover of the magazine.

I would love to see
your fashion house.""

And he came,
and it was my first fashion house.

I am positive

it's here that we met,

because you stayed here,

and I went to get the car--

I drove around,
and I picked you up here.

The second reason is,

my father had
an open account here,

so I always came here
when I had no money.

I'm sorry,
but I remember

it was the bar
across the street.

In September,
we all came back from vacation

I understand

that Valentino had problems

because the company went bankrupt.

The first Valentino company.

And that's when I arrived
but I didn't have any experience.

I was just a student.

I had a little, maybe,

better good sense than Valentino,

better understanding about

3 plus 3 makes 6.

And strange enough,
the moment that we met,

the moment that we start

to work together,

luck changed completely.

When did you realize
that your moment had come?

It was a few years ago,

when many ladies from
the international society,

beautiful and important ladies,

decided to dress with my clothes.

This is the case
with Mrs. Kennedy,

whom I've been dressing
for two years now,

and I do
her entire wardrobe.

And in '68,
I did a white, white collection.

All the magazines, Time, Life,

they wrote fantastic articles about it.

This was my beginning,
the beginning of my career.

with all the silver screen movie stars.

A short strap
of tulle here,

with three or four volants

that start large on top

and finish thin
where it meets the bustier.

I want to put the belt here

with a diamond feather.

Very beautiful, okay?

How long will it take you
to cut the strips?

Tomorrow we'll try them all
to see the full effect.

- Day after tomorrow?
- Yes.

So they should all
start from here?

Five in the front
and five in the back.

One, two,

three, four--

It starts from the center.

One, two, three--

One, two--

No, you got it wrong.

One, two, three

and four--

Nine, so they're
divided evenly.

Twenty strips in total--
No, 1 8.

Yes, but it'll
be astonishing--


We need to discuss briefly

the background
for the high fashion show.

There it is.

So this was sent

and now,
we'll see it in Paris.

But remember that every strip
will be decorated

by millions of silver sequins.

- That one?
- Yes.

That's the beauty of it,
all these sparkling sequins.

But how will they do it?

They'll put them one by one,
all by hand.


Look in the mirror!

I think it's the most beautiful
dress of the collection.

This is the dress
that I wake up early in the morning

and I was pissed off because
I didn't like the previous dress,

and I changed it for this one,
you see.

The last minute--

The last minute

you did a miracle of the collection.

No, but you must see it
in the mirror.

Look at your masterpiece!

Your most beautiful dress ever.

Look for a second.
Isn't it divine?

It's beautiful like this
even without the sequins.

It's so beautiful that maybe
we don't need the sequins.

You already
have the effect.

Look at the movement!

What should we do?


Girls, but some sequins
can't hurt.

Just a little, not much.

I must see at least one strip
with sequins

by 4:00 tomorrow.

You're in charge of that.

And then I will decide
if I like it or not.

We'll do one by hand.

- I'll hold it for you.
- Yes.

- It looks incredible.
- Incredible.

Frankly, I don't dislike it

when some strips are missing.

I don't dislike it.

It makes it more light.

I would leave the front like that

and group them by two
in the back.

And in the front,
I would continue.


Thank you.
See you in Paris.

Thank you.

Good morning.
How are you all?

Why didn't you do this
before, Maddelana?

This was the most
important thing.

This should have been
stitched better.

It's a full day's work!

Why didn't you
do it sooner?

You're all old ladies,

and you still don't know
how to handle yourselves.

This really
makes me crazy.

Really insane.

Now I don't need anything!

It should've been
done sooner.

Good morning.

Good morning,

Where is dress number 70?

They aren't leaving yet.

- What number is that?
- Seventy-four.

This is the last piece.

We are done.

They will film Monsieur
in five minutes

and then be ready.

No, Monsieur
is leaving right now.

Put it inside the car!


Sometimes I don't know which language
I'm speaking anymore.


Go away.
Go away, go away.

- Where is Princess Rosario?

She's already gone into Paris.
She'll meet you for lunch.

- But Bruno's coming?
- He's in the car.

- Where in the car?
- No, Bruno--

- They're staying here, sir.
- They're staying here?

You don't need anyone, do you?

- Okay.
- Got that part done.

This is my partner,
Matteo Marzotto.

Of course, you met him,
and know about him.

Can you lower the music a second?

And we get along very well.

I make him spend a lot of money.

That's right.

And I teach him one good lesson.

At least every day,
one every day.

I've been always tempted
to sell the business

to someone who could
run it with me, help me.

The business was getting enormous,
enormous, enormous.

So I was always thinking,
""Maybe I'm not good enough,

I'm not rich enough.
I'm not smart enough.""

So I was always thinking
and listening to people- -

""Oh, why don't you associate with me?

Why don't we buy the company?""

And indeed in 1 998,

among emotional tears,

the company is sold
to HDP Corp,

who sold it only four years later

to the Marzotto group.

The new owners
gave Matteo Marzotto,

the president of the company,

all financial decisions.

I think Giancarlo understood the market

and sold the company
exactly at the right time.

This a really tough cookie,
you know.

We have had the most bloody,

most terrible fights,
me and him.

He can be such a difficult guy,

as well as being a very sweet one.

But I don't think
Valentino would have been the same

without Giancarlo.

Not even a half,

and not even one third of it.

Try to think
how long is this relationship,

which is 365 days a year,

24 hours since 50 years.

I mean, this is unique.

And you cannot even say

it's for the money,

for the power, for the what?

There are two strips
missing, no?

I did it on purpose.
It was too much.

It looks like two holes.

Do you have two extra strips?

Then put them
in the back here.

One here and one there.

You're a pain in the ass.

It looked fine
without the strips.

There are two holes.

If you don't like,
we won't put them.

Just because
someone else said it.

I left two holes
on purpose,

not to have strips
all around.

But put them back,

if people are going to
faint over the matter.

The most beautiful gown,
and you make such a mess.

It's beautiful, anyway.

Look, Sergio.

I would like to recreate
this kind of atmosphere.

This is a collection
from 1 967.

I've seen this picture before!

It's famous.

We had filled the press room

with semolina.

We'll make the dunes
a little bigger on the stage.

Enzo, come here
for a second.

I see two tits,

I don't see two dunes.

It's a little too--

It's a little harsh
like this.

Make it softer,
less boom boom.

This one is the little dune.

Here comes the big one.

it's too late now,

but are you sure
about the sand?

- What?
- The sand on the stage.

It looks like Marilyn Monroe
is about to come out

with Jack Lemmon running after her.


It would have made sense

if I made light pants,

Saharan jackets, etc.

But this collection is
all about romanticism,

and you give me sand.

It'll be beautiful.

But that's not the question!

The problem is that it
does not go with the clothes.

All right, but--

Once you get an idea
in your head--

And you're not stubborn?

Almost never--

- Maybe sometimes.
- Of course, never.

Just imagine--

Usually you ask me first.

This sand idea is ridiculous.

Your belly is showing.

No, I don't have a belly.
I don't look fat.

Look at you
with your three layers.

You will see.
People will say it.

We're just missing the rifles.

- What will people say?
- Rifles and a lion.

What are you saying?

It's a very light collection, so--

With a beach of sand?

The lightness, the beach--

Not a beach, a desert!

A desert.
That's even worse--

Camels with veils up to here.

We'll see what she says.

You have to say the truth, okay?

Many, many years ago,
when we started my career,

we did a beautiful--

- It's too long, this story.
- Ah, it's too long.

You go away, you're scared.

You know, I'm still amazed

when Valentino arrives to the show

and to see a set.

Yeah, he pass by, ""Oh nice!""

""Do you like?""
""Yes"" and he goes.

I mean, the problems do not touch him.

He doesn't realize really

the work behind this business,

behind a sketch and a dress.

He's already working
on the hair.

Since you haven't yet
discussed it with him--

I told him to start
one chignon.

But he also wants to
try something else.

Very Guy Bourdin--

A girl with a strong look.

The hair all up and blown out?

- If you're in that mood--
- But I don't want that.

Look at it first.
It's really artistic.

If you haven't slept
and you're in a bad mood--

No Guy Bourdin.

I want a chignon
with this collection.

It gets worse everyday.

So, what you would love to do?

I'm gonna do something a bit more edgy

and big and wild,

kind of Guy Bourdin-ish.

You don't like chignons?

I mean, I was going to try a chignon.

But I was thinking
something a little bit more edgy.

I don't want a crazy girl.

I want beautiful
but something strong also.

This-- You do all this twirl--

Yeah, volume,
but there's kind of a softness.

But it's extreme because it's big.

Then if a fly gets in--

it's lost forever.

This girl with the red chignon,
but the other one, no.

To be with Valentino as a friend,
as a lover,

as a-- As an employee

is a bit the same--

You need a lot of patience.

Listen. Can I talk to you
for a second?

You just brushed me away
like this.

Cheri, please, a bomb
is going to explode here.

Look at my hand shaking!

I've been working
for 40 hours straight.

I don't give a damn.

I'm working
40 hours in Paris too.

- I'm infuriated--
- You have the camera behind you.

I don't care.

That camera,
if it keeps on screwing around,

I'm out of the film.

- Which camera?
- That camera there.

This is why you called me?

No, I called you because

during the collection,
they can't follow whomever.

They have to follow me!

Who are ""they""?


- Why did you call me?
- Why? Because I see

nothing gets done here.

People have to be on
their knees in front of me!

Can we see the sun moving?

It's beautiful now.

You'll see
with the light tonight--

It's a fantasy.

Once Mr. Valentino
has seen them,

we'll take them out.

So, what do you think
of the stage?


Merry Christmas.


- Will it fit?
- It fits me.

- I put this underneath?
- Yes, underneath.


It will be great
for the new year.

How are you?
Happy New Year.

You know, it's every season
we bite our nails thinking,

""Could this be the last one
he's gonna do?

Because he deserves
to take some time off now but--""

We'll see, we'll see.

I can understand
when Valentino gets nervous

if someone is too much asking
about his future.

- We are just one hour, eh?
- We are gonna make it.

- One hour.
- One hour.

Valentino is the last couturier.

He's the real thing.

But if there will be soon a day
in which he says,

""I want to slow down,""
I'd understand it.

Valentino as an icon

has to decide what to do.

And only himself can decide.

But I have to find

the right Valentino of the future.

We can bring
the clothes here

so you can
do the interview.

But I already did
the interview.

Giancarlo, leave me alone
for a minute.

We'll do one after another,

Why the dunes?
Why the desert?

The desert is
a sort of reminiscence

of Giancarlo Giammetti
and myself.

He was the first
to come up with

fashion advertising campaigns.

And our very first campaign

was all pastel colours

in a landscape of dunes.

Hold on a minute,
this is a mess!

Can you send them
in order, please?

Where are they now?

I come out now?

Giorgio Armani.

Karl Lagerfeld was the first.

I got roses last evening
with a beautiful letter,

fantastic and now,

I start to receive flowers

and they say,
""Nobody from Italy?""

and I said, ""No, not yet,""
and now, it's Giorgio Armani.

Are you ready
for your award ceremony?

Of course.

Do you have your speech?

I wrote it the other night.

Good morning, Mr. Minister.

Do you mention Giammetti?

Just a little at the end.

Don't forget,
your secretary's son

just graduated from college.

In your speech,

you should thank everyone

who came today.

The French Republic
is glad to present you

with the Legion of Honour.

Many friends
and collaborators

have followed me
though my career,

and I would like
to mention them.

And many others
I could mention

if I had more time.

But my gratitude--

But my gratitude goes

especially to
Giancarlo Giammetti.

My partner from
the very beginning--

who stayed by my side
all these years.

I want to thank him

from the bottom
of my heart.

- Everything is ready.
- Now it's cold.

I've ordered the heaters.
They'll be here this afternoon.

Just to be on the safe side.

Mr. Valentino, the two far tables,

we've had to use those chairs.


Gwyneth, how are you?
Let's not delay.

Look at this weather.

Stop fighting over this beautiful lady.

We're having Apple
tomorrow evening?

- Yes, you are.
- Great.

It's Joan Collins.

I've seen you in the--
I've seen you in the papers.

Seen him in the papers?

Oh, that's wonderful.

Oh, I'll have some champagne.

Yes, congratulations

to Signore Valentino Garavani.

We all feel that Valentino so deserves
this award,

as you do too.

I got half of it, I'm sure.
I feel.

Everybody is asking
if you can cut those off.

- But what if it rains again?
- No, it won't.

They want to cut open the plastic--

Yes, but not until you're in there.

No, they're asking.
They want to do it now.

Because it's very warm inside.

The Comtesse de Ribes
brought her own vodka.

Look, it's there!

Can you bear not to be here all year
to see it?

When I stop working.

You will spend more time home.
But you won't stop working.

I don't know.
One day, I don't know.

The thing is,
you can't work a bit, can you?

You either have to do it,
or not do it.

Many collections or nothing.

It's dangerous always
for people who work so hard.

I know from my mother
who worked very hard.

I was scared
when she stopped working.

I thought she would
have a problem.

But she doesn't?

You just be Valentino,
she's now Mrs. Nayar.

All day is doing what she was doing
but without the business,

it's house, and it's friends.

When I'm in a city for a little while.

But I'm never more than 3 or 4 days.

No, I know.
For 50 years,

you've probably been doing that.
Running, running.

It's always so rough.

My future, I don't know really
what's going on.

I am a little confused.

I live day by day.

I love to, certainly,

to prepare my collection.

But you know, I am so interested

in so many other things

that it is a pity not to have the time

to take care also.

Of course, Valentino created
a world to himself

and he wants to stay in that world.

You have to choose between

going on until the end of your life

or until somebody tell you,

you know,
we need somebody else now,

or, you decide to go.

It is a difficult step.

The market is asking us
to make different things.

We have to change.

This is the job. The job
is changing, have new ideas.

And I'm not sure Valentino wants,

really wants to change his, you know,

own lifestyle after so many years.

It's classic.
Very beautiful.

After so many decade,
after so much work,

after so much freedom,

you can imagine me accepting

Marzotto telling me,
""You are not to do this

you are not to do that.""
I would eat them.

Valentino is above control.

Valentino is above

partnership decision.

Valentino doesn't care.
Valentino does what he wants.

Valentino is Valentino.

So we are here to talk about

July, 2007.

Forty-five years of career--

A celebration of 45 years

of Valentino's career.

And my 40th birthday,
which is more important.

So on the first day,

we'll have the retrospective,

but it has to be different
from the others.

I don't want a wax museum.

I want it to be
the biggest event

in the history of fashion.

I want everyone
to remember it.

And of course we need

a prestigious location.

Where is Mr. Valentino?

Mrs. And Dr. Festi.

For your retrospective show,

from your first day to the last,

which is never,
but let's say up to now,

we're talking about
a big party for--

How many people?

200,000 people.
Plus our friends--

Six hundred VIP guests.

Something like a rock concert.

A luxurious atmosphere

with trolleys of finger food,

wurst sausage, hamburgers--

veg food.

There will be two
gigantic chandeliers

coming down illuminated

with ten of your most
iconic dresses on each.

So it's like Cirque du Soleil?

With 200,000 people,
for the first time in the world.

I wouldn't want such
an important event

to be too much like a circus.

Like a circus.

You know, Ara Pacis
is this modern museum

in the center of Rome.

So we arrived
in front of the Ara Pacis.

I say, ""What is this?
It's so horrible.""

I say, ""Well, let me go inside"".

So I went inside, I did six steps

and I called Daniela and I said,

""Daniela, move everything to Rome.

I found the place
where to do the retrospective,

it's in Rome.""

And then we start all over again
in Rome.

grand return to Rome.

From July 6 to 8,
the eternal city will celebrate

45 years of his career.

Grand return.
Eternal presence.

is planning a celebration

worthy of the Sun King!

Three days of celebration!

Dinners, runway show and exhibit

will take place
in honour of Valentino,

the creator of
the famous ""Valentino Red,""

who reigns indisputably
over Italian Couture.

For me, this part has to have
a lot of dresses in it.

Otherwise, really,
we're in trouble with Valentino.

He has told everybody 300 dresses,
300 dresses.

I can't tell him now
there will be 220 to 2 30.

If you're saying
there's a magic number,

it's 300
and that's what it has to be,

then we have to find a way
of dealing with this.

Valentina, Antonio.

Hamish. How do you do?

Oh, my God.
I can't believe it.

Let's look at the model.

Ristead, did you see this?

So this is the idea,
you will arrive here

and you will see all this scene

and then we have to choose
one amazing gown for here.

Like a super-iconic thing,
like the Julia Roberts thing or something.

Being back in my city

because it's 45 years of my career

I am trying to put together a show

extremely Haute Couture.

A very, very important collection.

This would be
for the couture show.

It's amazing, no?

The only bad thing

is this terrible thing
they put in the middle.

- This is a much better room.
- Okay.

You have to be so brave
and so strong

to talk to Valentino.

Well, I mean,
that's not difficult.

Not difficult, right.
You don't know the gentleman.

But I feel sad to show there.

I don't feel comfortable.

- The entrance is very sad.
- But he's going to change--

But you have walls
and they're higher than this room.

They are so dirty.

because you've never been to

the Beaux Arts in Paris.

It's dirty,
disgusting when you get there.

We do couture there.

You've never been in a place
before we do the installation.

Don't worry.
Trust me.

One spends his whole life
dealing with something

that is not working

and turning it into something
that is working.

That is what we do.

And you will have your 300 dresses
in the Ara Pacis.

The 300 dresses.
You still like the Ara Pacis?

I like what's happening to
the Ara Pacis,

and I like where we're going.

I think it's going to be--

No, but you know, I never liked Ara Pacis,
as you know.

Those little stairs,

and they go down
with all these little things,

you look like you are

at Macy's.

He hates the rails.

Well, we don't want to have
nasty rails.

- I think it's very beautiful.
- So we discussed China--

Not just China,
it's Marco Polo's voyage.

More Oriental

than just Chinese.


This is Chinese
meets Russian Ballet.

Valentino-- fashion--

where he gets a fantasy,

he mixes Russia with China.

That's what I want to explain
to our guests.

Something of a fantasy
of a couturier.

For the other night,
we have this amazing location

where only the Pope can go
once a year.

We're thinking
more open air night club.

Like a big party.

This is where
we're gonna put the columns,

- and the real columns are here.
- These are fibreglass, here,

and they are going to change lighting.

Where did you decide
to put the bathrooms?

But Valentino just called me
from the airport

and said: ""If the bathrooms
are set up like that,

I'm not coming.""

Just to simplify things.


We've got
all these things here.

What should we do,
cover the columns?

I'm afraid it's becoming

too much of a Chinese temple.

Why Chinese?

I can tell Valentino's
Oriental fantasies--

You said,
""The Last Emperor.""

The Coliseum turns
Valentino Red.

And the flying dancers arrive.

- You like it?
- Beautiful. Very beautiful.


I find it beautiful too.

How much
would this show cost?

220 thousand Euros.

We'll give him 200.

I'll take care of it.
You're breaking my balls.

Two hundred.
End of story.

What is next?
The numbers?


Good morning.

I'm sorry,
but Mr. Valentino is travelling.

He doesn't like to wait.
He likes skiing!

So you have to be ready
with your sticks in hand.

Then it's non-stop
from the top to the bottom.

- I went too fast.
- That asshole bumped into me.

He doesn't like very much.

Michael, can you call at home
Mr. Giammetti

to see if he's there?


Ciao, Giancarlo.

How are you?

I'm well.

Why you don't come here for one day,
I mean,

to stay with us?
It would be nice.

Okay, ciao.
Now, because the two of us,

we speak French most of the time.

When I arrived from France, for me,
it was really my second language

and I was much too used to
speak French.

So I teach him
the French language and after--

I always direct him--

Direct myself to him in French.

I am a special case

because it went for so long,

and in our case,
it's probably a miracle

because I've never seen
two people so close

for so many years

not being married.

You understand that I've seen Valentino
almost every day in my life,

except for maybe in 45 years

a total of two months.

Valentino is an Italian dress designer

whose name is known
around the world.

In the 70s and 80s,
Valentino and I worked very hard

to grow the company.

and the company became

30-40 times larger.

In the 70s,

we really grew business
in a normal way:

selling clothes.

In the 80s,
it completely changed.


And then in the 90s,

started the investment
of other people.

Today there's another language
which is money.

There has been a lot of news
about how Valentino needs

more handbags, more belts,
more fragrances,

and all the things that are really making
most fashion houses all the money.

The runway shows, the Couture shows,
they really don't make money.

Those are the image things,
they get the name out there,

and then, it's all the other accessories
that really bring it all in.

You know, we are from
North East of Italy

so we have to take care of figures,
not only style.

Today's designer

is more of a manager attitude

than pure creativity.

One of our needs
is being on the market

and looking around and try to have an idea

as to what's on the next, let's say.

I've been looking at designers
since many, many years.

Almost immediately after
we sold the company in 1 998.

I knew that one day

Valentino will decide to stop.

You know,
Matteo can say anything he wants

but Matteo has no power
in this company.

He's a young guy, very simpatico,

I like him as a friend.

but whatever he says

has no value to me.


An evening dress that reveals

a woman's ankles

while she's walking

is the most disgusting
thing I've ever seen.

I've never done it
in my entire career.

This is Euro news

with the news on the hour.

Almost 30 %
of the Valentino Fashion Group

founded by 75-year-old
Valentino Garavani,

has been purchased
by private equity firm Permira

for 782 million Euros / $ 1 . 1 Billion.

The luxury sector as well as
the fashion sector could be affected.

The shares were sold
by members of Italy's Marzotto family.

Permira is now the largest investor
in Valentino

and says it's looking to buy
a larger stake.

Despite the buyout,
Matteo Marzotto will be remaining

as chairman of Valentino.

When will we know
about the future of Valentino?

I think it is something

that would be very, very fast

with a tender offer,

Stefano Sassi
CEO, Valentino Fashion Group

and we're expecting
that in 1 , up to 2 months,

the Permira group

would be really in charge of everything

and in control
of the majority of the company.

Fashion is such a huge business now,

and investment bankers are
really determining the future of this.

And Valentino wasn't consulted on
any of these developments

that are happening
about the sale of the company.

Valentino has a contract through July,
as I understand it,

which possibly could be renewed
and is likely not to be.

If I were he, I would say,

""Take me out, but only feet first.""

It's possible that this company
could make the mistake

and take it the way of, you know,

Halston in the past,

or Cardin, which is belt buckles

and duty free handbags and,
you know, crapola.

We are in the position to wait and see.

We are sure that if somebody buys

for such a huge amount of money,

they don't want to destroy
that kind of

special product

Valentino did all his life--

But that doesn't mean
you're going to retire?

- No.
- But rumours said that--

Rumours, rumours,
they say so many things.

This was the best thing for me,

to design and create dresses.

I always did this.
I am not capable of doing anything else.

I am a disaster in everything else.

Nobody knows.

Is he leaving? Staying?
Leaving? Staying?

It's all backroom gossip.

Let's hope he stays!

Without Mr. Valentino here...

My first suit.
Embroidered suit.

This is '66.

- This was Audrey Hepburn.
- Right.

- Fantastic.
- Yeah, I did for her.

So, what we've tried to do, also,
is try to get a lot of early things--

Anne Bass.

To do this embroidery today,

you need to sell an Italian bank.

I know, look at the quality.


So many things I did.

This is Jackie.

If I have to flashback

to all those past decades--

they went so--so--

Like yesterday,

but time--

you become older and older
and older,

you don't realize.

This grand event in Rome--

There has been talk
about the past.

How does the future look?

This is something
that I will decide.

For now,
I'm not discussing it.

Do you have a plan
for retirement?

Do you plan for retirement?

- Not for the moment.
- Not for the moment.

Because people ask why
45th year anniversary's a big deal,

- and why not?
- That means--

if you see me today like I am,

it's 45, I can go until 50, 60,

I don't know, forever, okay.

What will happen with Permira?

They are
a very serious corporation.

So we certainly

expect growth.

How was I?


- Tell me the truth.
- Okay, I'll tell you--

You look a bit too tan.

Tan? No.

A little less wouldn't hurt.

So now it's too much?

You didn't speak
with Matteo at all?

- What?
- Matteo. You ignored him?

He said my e-mail
was so tough

that he didn't even reply.

We've been fighting really bad words
and really, you know,

with a vein like this on the neck,
really high pressure.

Now he's trying to say something.

He's like an old lion, you know,

he's trying to roar, like this,
but there is no voice.

It's a different way
of thinking.

It's more about
what is the bottom line.

I never thought
this was the way to do business.

I always did business because
I want his clothes to be on women,

on men, for Valentino to be famous,

to be happy.

This is the finale?

For the finale,
it should be this one.

All in crystal
with the pink coat.

Then we go to black.

Giancarlo, I don't want
to see these pins around!

I don't care
about the collection.

My dogs are much
more important.

All the pink ones.

They'll be amazing
as a finale.

No red finale
for the 45th year?

No, enough with the red!

The red dresses are the
most simple and stupid ones.

Eleven girls
with two dresses each makes 22.

Twenty-four girls.
Is that good for you?

But let's not hire
any midgets.

So it's been a long work,
this, no?

It's been a one-year work.

And he's very excited
I guess, no, Valentino?

Yeah, seems so.

I try as always to leave it to him
the nice part of the event

and to keep all the problems
for myself.

Permira just confirmed
that they are in the process

of acquiring an additional
24%%% stake in Valentino.

According to the Wall Street Journal,

the fate of Valentino
is now in the hands of financiers,

and it's unclear whether Valentino
would stay on

under a new owner.

Allesandra Facchinetti,
who replaced Tom Ford

as Gucci's womenswear designer,

is the frontrunner to succeed Valentino,

should he retire later this summer,
according to Women's Wear Daily.

It would be very much
the end of an era for many reasons.

There's really no one
who can replace or succeed Valentino

because if you weren't learning
about Couture in the 1 950s

from people who learned the craft
in the 1 920s,

you're not gonna get
any more information.

Valentino will celebrate
his 45th anniversary in the biz

with a couture show in Rome
on July 6th.

Many believe the anniversary bash

is a sign that Valentino will retire soon.

Valentino has denied those reports.

They will have shoes, all of them.


- Yes, you're not sure--
- No, no, for sure.

We've been painting the soles.

That last row is a little high.

You don't like it?

Not at all.
I think it's terrible.

Imagine it
with all the lights.

Yes, but you really
have to look up a lot.

You have to look up a lot.

Please stop, I want to say
something to Mr. Giammetti.

I don't want to be filmed.

These are my most
beautiful dresses.

Tell them yourself.

To me, they answer,
""No, it's beautiful.""

But what will they do now?
It's too late.

Yes, but all of this
is going to be--

I am here to decide something
very important

and I don't want to be filmed.
I'm sorry.

Okay, otherwise I go.
And I go. Bye-bye.

No, come here
and finish this thing.

It's a shame because

he's so enthusiastic
about the other things.

Valentino is very
protective of himself.

He doesn't like to
confide in anyone.


Not even friends--

Few people know
about his doubts,

his fears,

his weaknesses.


he has this
extraordinary control.

You see my dogs.
They're used to pictures.

Come here,
come here!

Little idiot.

We have to do damage control

because the situation
at the Temple of Venus

has become tragic
and will get worse little by little.

Just today there are
5 or 8 extra guests

from Permira.

He was invited to Ara Pacis

but not to the Temple of Venus.

But he has to be invited
to the Temple.

Mr. Giammetti told me
only Ara Pacis,

but I'll add him.

We must add him
because he did the thing--

Let's do a final check.

So guys,
imagine I am a guest.

I will arrive to the hotel
with my six big bags,

there will be somebody out
waiting for me from the hotel.

Then I'm sent to the room.
I will have my gift.

In each hotel,
there is going to be a room,

a suite with a hairdresser,

a manicurist, and make-up.

Are you ready?

How beautiful you are!

Look at me in Valentino Red!

Your boobs
are all hanging out.

Because it's small.
It's the model size.

Look, it fits me.

Can I go out like this?

It's extraordinary!

You think it's too small?

Just a little bit here.

Not much.

You think it'd be good
for an evening?

Of course!

- First or second night?
- First!

You didn't even call me

to say ""Welcome to Rome.""


Oh, my God!

My first couture with Valentino,
it's better late than never.

Oh, it's so extraordinary,
and it's so Valentino.

You should have made me
one for every hour.

Oh, my God!
I cannot even tell you.

It's a little bit long, yes,

I think it needs to be hemmed up.
She has a lot of work.

Lavoro, tanto lavoro.
Tanto lavoro, capice, capice.

Hi, Valentino!
How are you doing?

We're taking amazing pictures!

The Coliseum, look!
Let's go!

We're in Rome,
where the fashion world has congregated

for the festivities surrounding

the 45th anniversary celebration
of Valentino.

We'll bring you complete coverage
of this extraordinary weekend

on an upcoming episode
of Fashion Television.

I'm rushing because I'm late.

Did you go inside?

Valentino, you have
to put this on for me.

- It's not on right.
- What do you mean? It's done!

Being in Rome, it's so hot and steamy
and romantic.

Uma, can we have a quick comment?

- Is that Valentino?
- Yes, it is.

She's wearing Valentino as well.

What's the difference between
good style and trash?

I have no idea.


You look amazing!

Look at your tits.

He said ""I have a wonderful
Italian intern who has no money.

He will be happy to do
your sketches.""

And this is how we met.

How amazing.

Today, we are here to celebrate

with our friends, our colleagues

this amazing career
of my dear friend Valentino.

And he still designs the same way,

fame and fortune didn't change him.

He's still the same little guy I met

45 years ago.

I need Antonio!

Mr. Valentino's coming!

Come on!
Don't be shy.

All the seamstresses
from Turin made the trip.


It's fantastic--

Look at this one
from 1990!

From the beginning--



It's beautiful!


I can't believe it.

Our creation.

- Where is Mr. Lagerfeld?
- He's downstairs.

Come see something
you're going to love.

How does it feel
to see it all again?

Darling, it's the hard work
of 45 years.

This is Patrick.

He did all this scenography.

- Congratulations.
- Thank you, thank you.

It's pretty,
hung up like this.

You realize the hours of work
for all this.

It's crazy.

I kind of remember
these looks.

- This one, for instance.
- It's the 60s.

I remember very well.

You were still on Via Gregoriana.

Congratulations! You must
stay a few more years.

Maybe not another 45,
but still--

- Don't stop.
- Not at all.

- I would never forgive you.
- Never.

Thank you for coming.

Be strong, sophisticated,
very feminine,

and show what is Haute Couture.

Everybody's here.

The pace has to be
very strong and fast.

Go, go, go.

No, she's not ready.

We need powder!

Did you see?

Bravo, bravo!

Not me, not me.

Not me, not me.

That's the way
it should be done.

Compared to us,
the rest are making rags.

Every dress, every girl,
every moment of a feather or ruffle.

There's so much restraint
and exuberance.

That pink thing that looked like--

It's just another--
It's a breakthrough moment here.

Triumph of the will.
Triumph of the will.

The will to continue to be.

You're just beginning.
You're just beginning over.

Your career is just beginning.
You're a little guy about to begin.

- I'm beginning my career.

- You're beginning
your career again, today.

The world today--

The world of fashion today is very,
very different.

If there is a reason for Valentino to stop
one day, that's the reason--

That this is not a world made for him.

Valentino will be the last one
of that generation of the big names

that has still
his name on his company.

It will define the difference

between yesterday and today.

There are a lot of people who say
no one can replace you.

After me, the flood.

You know what it means?

It was beautiful.

Two months later; Valentino issued a press release
saying the celebration was " unrepeatable."

" And so, at this time, I have decided that this is the
perfect moment to say adieu to the world of fashion.
As the English say, I would like to leave the
party when it is still full."

The next day, the company appointed 35-year-old
Alessandra Facchinetti as womenswear creative director.

Five months later, Matteo Marzotto stepped down
from the presidency of Valentino.

After just two seasons, Facchinetti left the company.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, who had
been working with Valentino for 10 years designing
accessories, were appointed as creative directors.