Valentino:Master of Couture is coming to Somerset House

I am super excited by an exhibition that is going to be hitting London, specifically Somerset House, this November. Valentino:Master of Couture is a major new exhibition that will celebrate the life and work of the legendary designer, with a focus on his glorious haute couture pieces, as worn by some of the world’s most famous and beautiful women, including Julia Roberts, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Sophia Loren. With dresses well known from red carpet appearances, to couture that has graced the world’s biggest and best couture catwalks, and with the special appearance of privately commissioned pieces, this exhibition promises to bring all the beauty and elegance of the Valentino to a captive audience.

Lorenzo Agius Valentino with models 2007 copyright Lorenzo Agius

The list of dresses that will make up part of this exhibition are breathtaking. Think Julia Roberts in the classic 1982 vintage black and white Valentino on the night she won her Oscar for Erin Brockovich, or Jackie Onassis in a simple white shift dress that she wore to marry Aristotle in 1968. Another highlight is sure to be a royal wedding dress worn by one of the chicest of Princesses, the pearl encrusted ivory creation worn by Princess Marie- Chantal of Greece in 1995. And then, there are of course, Valentino red dresses to admire and adore, the iconic creations of a master atelier.

What I really love is how this exhibition is being organised. Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries will be transformed into a catwalk with a difference, the visitors will be ‘models’ parading along a 60 metre runway admiring the audience, who are all Valentino couture clad, providing a visual history of the label from the 1950s to today. This will be thematic rather than chronological, items will be grouped together under categories like colour, or volume.The exhibition will also offer a behind the scenes look at the work of the atelier through films that have been especially created for the exhibition, along with a chance to view the Valentino Garavani virtual museum.

Valentino with models 2007 copyright Lorenzo Agius

Valentino has himself said ‘…Each of these designs have a beautiful story…’ and Somerset House is certainly a beautiful setting, meaning that together this will be the fashion event of the winter, a much anticipated fashion exhibition for lovers of couture and all things exquisite. I personally can’t wait for it’s arrival.

The Valentino:Master of Couture Exhibition will run from November 29th 2012 to March 3rd 2013

Tickets cost £12.50.

For further information, click here.

Valentino Garavani and Natalia Vodianova 2012 copyright Cathleen Naundorf

Grazia admits It photoshopped Duchess Kate

She looked so beautiful in that Sarah Burton dress, but when she appeared on the Grazia commemorative issue, Kate, the new Duchess of Cambridge, looked decidedly slimmer. Grazia denied it had done anything to alter Kate’s figure, which included a miniscule waistline.

But now Grazia  have admitted that they did ‘Photoshop’ the image of Kate that they used, although they claim that the slimming of Kate was an inadvertent consequence of the picture manipulation, rather than the actual reason for it.

Confused? Well, it seems that the Groom, Prince William had selfishly been holding Kate by the arm in the original picture, ruining the Grazia cover. Grazia had altered the image, removing Kate’s right arm and creating a mirror image of the left arm. This had caused Kate’s waist to appear slimmer, due to the mirroring effect.

Grazia has said they  “would like to reassure all our readers that we did not purposely make any alternations to the Duchess of Cambridge’s image to make her appear slimmer, and we are sorry if this process gave that impression”.

This is just the latest case of photoshopping of celebrities. Kate Winslet, Madonna and Britney Spears have all seen pictures retouched,  sometimes without the permission of the celebrities.  L’Oreal recently saw trouble over images of the lovely Julia Roberts, whilst Britney famously released a before and after shot to show how subtle the work could be.

backdrop for photography

I think  it is disappointing that Grazia have been caught photoshopping images, particularly of someone as prominent as the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate’s figure has already been under scrutiny due to weight loss, so to create an image making her appear even slimmer is irresponsible. In addition, to not come clean about the issue for four months is unfair to the millions who read the magazine each week.

I left a comment on the Telegraph website today which I will reproduce here. I wrote; “I just hate the cult of photoshopping – the Frankenstein’s monster of photography. Kate doesn’t need tampering with in any way – and that includes giving her two left arms.”

Recent irritations from the wonderful world of fashion.

Fearne Cotton

Image by septuagesima via Flickr

Fashion – I just love it! I love everything about it! Well, actually you need to scrap that last comment. I don’t love everything about it. In fact, some things get me completely hot under the collar. Here are a few more of my choice irritations from the wonderful world of fashion.

  1. Alpine style Christmas jumpers for the whole of the Autumn/Winter 2010 season, not just December 25th. Forget the notion that this is the present from batty great Aunt Betty that you try to hide in the bottom of the closet, or only wear when also sporting seasonal antlers, the Christmas jumper/dress is totally ‘de jour’ this season. Fir trees and snowflakes were all over the catwalk, and now the High Street. I could say channel your inner geek and get one…but Iwon’t.
  2. Fearne Cotton – again! I actually quite like Fearne when I can’t see her, I sometimes listen to her radio show and I do enjoy it. But when I see her, in magazines, or on TV, sporting hideous brogues with ankle socks, I just cringe. She looks like she should be leading a scout troop, rather than gaining style icon plaudits. Her constant self promotion of her ‘Very’ collection is also annoying in the extreme.
  3. The funny, but cruel reaction of E Channel’s ‘Fashion Police‘ to curvy ladies. On the issue of the stunning Julia Roberts gaining a few pounds for her role in the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love‘, Joan Rivers said ‘It should be called Eat, Pray, eat again, barf’ and claimed Julia Roberts had ‘porked up’. Jessica Simpson was accused of eating a belt, whilst Christina Hendricks is constantly given the weeks worst dressed award. Give the curvy girls a break Joan, we can’t all be stick thin. It’s probably worth remembering that Joan Rivers is permanently stunned rather than stunning.
  4. Bare legs in this colder climate. Maybe it works in sunny California, but whilst on the red carpet in Blighty, stars and starlets need to invest in a pair of Wolfords. Goose pimples and patchy skin is so not a good look. (You know who you are ladies – get your tights on.)
  5. The non uniformity of sizes in ladies clothing. I was recently forced to try on a size 22 coat in Asda George whilst wearing a size 16 River Island dress! How does that work?  I have a size 14 skirt from Wallis that fits like a glove, and a size 20 skirt from Matalan that doesn’t. Is it too much to ask for some uniformity in sizing across the High Street, so we can try after we buy, and not face an unwanted 2nd trip to the shops?


That’s my monthly rant over. I feel so much better for that!