Valentino: The Last Emperor

- Advertisement -


Valentino: The Last Emperor

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer

Valentino: The Last Emperor is like any fashion show – lavish, beautiful and entertaining, but with little depth. The documentary, directed by Vanity Fair’s Special Correspondent Matt Tyrnauer, attempts to work as a profile piece on Valentino Garavani, the now 77-year-old designer and head of the so-called “last” haute couture house, yet it is unsuccessful in its focus.

The film centers on the end of Valentino’s career, which includes an extravagant event for his 45th anniversary of being in the business, coinciding with his 45-year relationship with his business and personal partner, Giancarlo Giammetti. The lifestyles of the rich and famous abound here. The film is shot in many of Valentino’s houses and villas, with his five pugs following him from party to runway to office to yacht.

The most entertaining parts of the film include the exchanges between Valentino and Giancarlo. Their constant banter is charming, and rings with the familiarity of any lifelong relationship. At one point, Giancarlo puts much time and effort into the design of a runway set with a desert theme. Valentino tells him the sand is ridiculous and he won’t be dressing the models in safari garb. To which Giancarlo shoots back: “Your belly is showing, you’re looking fat.”

Valentino is always hyperbolic and sensational – he is one of the best at what he does and he knows it. He is dramatic in most everything he says, at one point remarking that “an evening dress that shows a woman’s ankles when she walks is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.” While the film attempts to function as a fly-on-the-wall inside look at a fashion house and an in-depth look at a fashion icon, there are few interviews with Valentino; many times he even refuses to be filmed. This is no personal look at Valentino’s character. The most revealing information comes from Giancarlo and others in his entourage, while Valentino has no active part in telling his own story.

The film doesn’t document the inner workings of haute couture either. The film vaguely shows how one dress is formed: Valentino wakes one morning with a vision of a white dress and then his league of underlings work hard to fulfill this vision. A deeper understanding of the construction and workings would have been worthwhile. There was no talk of how a line is developed, or how Valentino’s work has evolved through the decades. It is never made clear what makes Valentino so great.

There is an attempt to add conflict and develop themes, but it is weak and contrived. There is slight generational tension,  as Valentino and Giancarlo are of a different era of fashion, in which dresses are hand stitched with the richest materials and are always tasteful and elegant. Their old-world outlook clashes with the current fashion model, in which accessories are the real source of income rather than runway materials. Valentino also struggles with the end of his illustrious career. He states that all he knows is fashion and is a disaster at everything else, but the viewer cannot feel much empathy as Valentino is so guarded with the camera.

Only at one moment is there a breakthrough – in accepting the Medal of the City of Paris, Valentino breaks down while thanking Giancarlo, who he recognizes as being who made him the successful and wealthy man he is today. As such, Valentino: The Last Emperor is a love story that celebrates beauty, wealth and fashion, while showcasing an endearing lifelong relationship between two men, but ultimately lacks the substance needed for it to be a meaningful or insightful documentary.

Lindsay Lafreniere

10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
20 Different Types of Balloons
12 Different Types of Tubas (Plus Interesting Facts)
Minivan loaded with beach stuff for day at the beach
The Ultimate Beach Checklist When Taking Young Kids to the Beach
Boy playing a trombone
10 Different Types of Trombones (Plus Fun Facts)
28 Different Types of Pineapple
20 Different Types of Limes
Table with a variety of nuts in bowls
20 Most Popular Types of Nuts (with Nutrition Fact Charts)
Bowl of cooked broccoli with walnuts
20 Types of Broccoli
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
Mechanic working on car in garage
10 Gift Ideas for Mechanics (Under $20, $50, $100 and $200)
A mechanic is repairing a car brake.
5 Different Types of Brake Pads and 6 Different Types of Brakes
9 Cool Minivan Alternatives
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Types of Barbells for All Types of Lifts and Workouts
Basketball player slam dunking
29 Great Gift Ideas for Basketball Players (Under $20, $50, $100 and $200)
Inside a beautiful spa business
6 Capabilities the Best Spa Scheduling and Business Software Should Have
Ballet dancers in a dance studio
7 Features of the Best Dance Studio Business Software (Checklist)
Massage therapy clinic
7 Types of Massage Therapist Software for Growing the Business
10 Features the Best Hair Salon Scheduling Business Software Offer (Checklist)
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores