My favorite part of the Valentino: The Last Emperor DVD is the aptly titled special feature A Perfect Life: Around the World with Valentino. In it, we get a sneak peek at what it takes to run Mr. Valentino's life and homes including his gorgeous chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland.
The ultimate treat was getting to watch the uber talented photographer Francois Halard photograph Mr. Valentino and his ski chalet for British Vogue. Mr. Halard is one of my favorite photographers and it was a pleasure to watch him work and see the results which I've posted here.
I was lucky enough to speak the man behind the Valentino documentary, Matt Trynauer, about the film and it's instant sensation. Matt wrote a really fabulous article about Valentino for Vanity Fair for which he met them in Rome where he was able to look into their world and their life. It is the relationship between Valentino and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti that captivated him and made him think that it should be on film. So he asked them and they said yes but it definitely wasn't that easy!
Matt and his crew would follow Valentino and his entourage for about two weeks per month for two years and always when they knew something important would be happening. I mentioned to Matt that you could easily hate Mr. Valentino for all his wealth and privilege but yet you don't and I think it's because you see how hard he works and that he gets upset just like everyone else. He said the final cut took a year to negotiate because Valentino wanted those outbursts cut out of the film but they definitely serve to show that his life isn't always perfect or without problems.
I had watched the Karl Lagerfeld documentary Lagerfeld Confidential shortly before seeing the Valentino documentary in the theatres and was struck by one major difference between the two legendary fashion designers. While Mr. Lagerfeld states that he needs his alone time to recharge his batteries, Mr. Valentino is never alone but constantly surrounded by an entourage of people! Giancarlo Giammetti says that they never spent more than two months apart total in the entire 50 years of their relationship.
It's no secret that Valentino lives like no other fashion designer but I guess when you've worked as hard as he has for so long, you're entitled to live so beautifully. Matt said that during times of economic despair such as the depression, the movies became more "diamond encrusted." The world needed a fantasy and Mr. Valentino definitely gave us a look into his diamond encrusted fantasy world!
Photos by Francois Halard