9 dicembre 2022
by Guendalina Dainelli

Forever Valentino


Spectacular. Theatrical. With more than 200 Haute Couture pieces and ready-to-wear dresses presented alongside accessories and ensembles created for icons including Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Zendaya. In addition to pieces from the private collection of the lady of the house, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. In Doha, not far from the roar of the crowds in the World Cup stadiums, you can immerse yourself in an haven of pure aesthetic contemplation, in the cultural district of Msheireb Downtown, and visit ‘Forever Valentino’. A great prospective exhibition dedicated to the founder Valentino Garavani and his heritage of haute couture still in the making. The Maison’s largest exhibition to date and its first presentation in the Middle East.

If there is one area of the world that is truly in love with Italian high fashion and our most prestigious brands, it is the Gulf. It is therefore no surprise that Qatar pays homage to one of the Italian giants with an exhibition that coincides with the 90th birthday of Valentino Garavani and the presentation of the Valentino Haute Couture Collection Fall/Winter 2022-23 in the heart of Rome, offering a broad overview of the history of the fashion house since its foundation in 1959, with the backdrop of the Italian capital. The Rome of Valentino, where it all began.

“Forever Valentino”  is a great prospective exhibition dedicated to the founder Valentino Garavani and his heritage of haute couture still in the making

The dreamlike image of the city is indeed the co-star of the exhibition. An enchanted place, where the audience is guided in and out of palazzi and courtyards, peeking into private apartments, intimate spaces inaccessible to the general public, such as Valentino's Ateliers, the historic archives of the Maison or the fitting rooms in the legendary headquarters in Piazza Mignanelli. Places depicted as a collage of successive moments, a dialog between the sources of inspiration that have stimulated the creativity of both the founder Valentino Garavani and his successor Pierpaolo Piccioli. Baroque frames that allude to a common thread in Valentino red between the cultural splendor of the past and the art of the designer. Images that become even more significant when placed in contrast with the hyper-modernity of Doha and its tireless drive towards the future.

‘Forever Valentino’ is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, artistic director of the New Museum New York, and by fashion critic and author Alexander Fury, who have worked closely with Valentino Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli. A tribute to the boy born in 1932 in Voghera, a little spoiled — as he himself said — stubborn, determined from the outset to become part of the fashion elite, the irrepressible imperative of an amazing talent.

In their openness to art and culture, a new course for many Gulf monarchies eager to diversify their economies, the exhibition dedicated to Valentino is certainly among the most prestigious on the Qatari program. Curiosity, growing interest in the western world especially among the new generations, desire to vary the traditional narrative and to play host to the leading figures of the various arts at global level. It is in this context that — again in Doha — Gioni has also recently curated a large solo exhibition on Jeff Koons. One of his sculptures sold for $91.1 million, the highest price ever paid for the work of a living artist. For high fashion, the tribute could only go to our own Valentino.

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