TABLE OF CONTENTS

books

Valentino

VALENTINO IS NOT AMONG the great innovators in fashion history. He is, however, one of the few designers who still operates in the traditional style of the 20th-century couturier. He can use opulent materials to construct elaborate shapes, like his spiral-cut ruffled gowns in organza or his bubble dresses (recently referred to in Women’s Wear Daily as Christmas-tree ornaments), which are not and could not be produced in quantity because of the amount of skill and labor needed to make each one. He can tailor an impeccable suit by hand, and he can also cover up its beautiful lines with froufrou; this excess and these specialities are the domain of the couture house, which is fitted to the taste of a rich clientele for whom wearing its morethan-well-made clothes is one of many luxuries.

To suit this environment, Valentino is printed on handmade paper, bound in a black, silky faille cover, and

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1982 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.