(image from www.valentinomovie.com)
Today I finally had a chance to watch the documentary movie Valentino – The Last Emperor on the BBC Four website. (It was shown as part of the channel’s Storyville series, which showcases documentaries around the world.) Valentino is one of my favorite fashion designers, and I find documentary to be absolutely fascinating, to say the least.

If you missed the original broadcast on BBC Four earlier this month, you can still catch it on the BBC Four website in the next 24 days. (But I assume this is only available for viewers in the UK.)

You can find more information on the documentary on valentinomovie.com and IMDb.

Related posts:

Valentino Haute Couture Collection for Spring/Summer 2007

Zac Posen Ready-to-Wear Collection for Spring/Summer 2008

Fashion City: Nottingham


Let’s waste no time:

Winner: Cate Blanchett (Armani Prive)

A no-brainer for me. This is the perfect Oscar dress. Simple, elegant, glamorous, and most importantly, timeless. I am a big fan of asymmetric designs, and the level of metalic shine is just right for the whole look. Love her simple hair and fresh makeup as well.

2. Nicole Kidman (Balenciaga)

For me, this is her best Oscar look in years. (I am not a fan of her Chanel dress when she was nominated for Moulin Rouge, or her black number when she won the Oscar. Her white Balenciaga dress last year was pretty but a bit boring.) Red is a surprising but a great choice, and the cut of this dress really shows off her statuesque figure. I don’t care about what some other people say, but I love the tumbling bow at the back. I think dressing for something like the Oscars is all about making a stunning impact. She did exactly that.

3. Kate Winslet (Valentino)

Again, love the asymmetric one-shoulder touch. The whole look is so demure and elegant. My very minor complain would be that the shade of green is slightly too pale. The whole look is not as good as the Ben de Lisi dress five years ago (which is definitely among my top five all-time favorite Oscar looks), but it is good enough to be among my top three this year.

4. Helen Mirren (Christian Lacroix)

Perfect at the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and again at the Oscars. I like the movement of the skirt when she walked. She dresses beautifully to her age with style and a bit of flair. Also, her hair looked different but equally beautiful on all three occasions.

5. Reese Witherspoon (Nina Ricci)

The first time I saw this dress, I actually didn’t like it at all. I imagine she would go for something brighter. But this one is a grower. The more I look at it, the more I love it. The hair and the makeup both went superbly well with the dress. I like the slanted tiers and the subtle change of color at the bottom. Very sultry and glam.

The dresses of Penelope Cruz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Anne Hathaway seem to get the split vote , and Gwyneth and Anne are even on the worst-dressed list on Yahoo! Movies. But I think they all looked pretty good. (I like the big frills and the big bow.)

On the other hand, while Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Lopez and Emily Blunt are consistently on the best-dressed lists, I am not particularly into their outfits at all. (Love J-Lo’s hair and makeup though!)

So what do you think?

(Most of the links are to Catwalk Queen. They happen to have the best of the red carpet photos.)

Stay tuned for my worst-dressed list later!


Flowy, and feminine were the first words that came to mind…

Valentino has been one of my favorite designers since I started to be interested in fashion in the 80’s. He has been such an icon and I love his designs still.

This collection is almost the opposite to Dior’s that I equally love. While Galliano’s creations are bold and flamboyant, Valentino’s are softer and calmer. But surprisingly, to me, they almost have the same visual impact. The two collections are both extremely coherent with their respective themes (and therefore so memorable) and that explains my fondness for both.

When the color palette is mainly white and palest shades of beige and pink, the shape, texture and pattern are immediately under the spotlight. The harmonious combination of fur, silk, and chiffon adds depth and dimension. It is almost as if the simplicity of the color scheme is to showcase this seamless harmony.

The shapes of the dresses are simple and clean, and the details are so exquisite. (I really enjoyed looking at the detail photos and marveling at all the ruffles, folds, and embroidery.) The whole effect is a sheer sense of elegance, further enhanced by the piled-up hair and retro-style makeup.

To me, this collection is a master class in understated and sophisticated glamour.