Premier Guide Media

Miami International Fashion Week presents Valentino The Last Emperor

On Thursday, September 24, 2009, filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer appeared at the Lincoln Theatre, South Beach to discuss his experience in the making of the film, Valentino: The Last Emperor with guest of the Miami International Fashion Week. The event was a fundraiser for the Miami Fashion Week Foundation, according to Beth Sobol, founder of Miami Fashion Week. MIFW hosted this event in effort to raise funds that will benefit emerging designers and students of fashion, photography, film and graphic design involved with the Miami International Fashion Week 2010 competitions.

VIP guests of MIFW were invited to an exclusive cocktail reception where they had a chance to mingle and be photographed with the director. The event was well attended, and local celebrities including, Miami's drag queen diva, Elaine Lancaster were present to support the Miami Fashion Week Foundation. Delicious bites were provided by neighborhood restaurant, Tiramesu and wines by Barefoot Wines. On display were art work from Romero Britto, the classic red Valentino dress, along with several other items for the silent auction.

Valentino: The Last Emperor was a rare look into the world of an Icon, a fashion king, a genius, a celebrated and respected fashion designer, perfectionist, and lover of all things beautiful, Valentino Garavani. Through the lens of Matt Tyrnauer, viewers were able to see the personal, professional and at times amusing side of this man who has a sincere passion for fashion and have devoted over 40 years of his life to his art and his partnership with Giancarlo Giammetti.

“When I was a child I would dream about everything beautiful in the world,” as a result he created “beautiful dresses for women who actually wear them“. Over the years Valentino draped women of the international society including Lady Diana and Elizabeth Taylor and more in his beautiful garbs. The level of work he produced and the basic understanding of a woman's body (the dress-the movement) have earned him respect and recognition all over the world.

Filmmaker and journalist Matt Tyrnauer, special correspondence for Vanity Fair Magazine, has written about several high profile public figures including Martha Stewart, Philippe Starck and others. He has written about Valentino for Vanity Fair as well as directed and produced, Valentino: The Last Emperor. Here he shares his experience with us on the filming of the "King of Couture", Valentino. Premier Guide Miami had the chance to talk with Matt Tyrnauer about his experience on following the final two years of the fashion Icon, Valentino’s career.

Here is the exclusive interview with Yetunde Taiwo and Matt Tyrnauer, director of Valentino: The Last Emperor.

PGM: Of all the designers in the world, why Valentino?

MT: I wanted to make a movie about the end of an ERA and Valentino was the last great master of high fashion working in the world. I happened to be with him for two years and it was final two years of his career, so we really wanted it to be the passing of an era and a very important era in the history of fashion. Valentino’s career has span through the golden age of the 20thcentury withclients like Jackie Kennedy Onassis on to present day with Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow, he designed for them. He was really the genius, central man of Hollywood, high fashion and the quintessential man of the red carpet. We got complete access to him and we really get to see a genius at work and you see him from the height of his powers to the day he decided to hang up the last dress and to walk out the door.

PGM: How did you find inspiration to do this documentary? Were there any challenges in approaching him to do this project?

MT: I think it was a sort of inner calling. I am not a fashion person at all-it’s not my field-that’s not my expertise. When I met Valentino I saw someone who was clearly an artistic genius also commercially very successful. The movie is about two people Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti his lifelong partner in business and life. It is about a very extraordinary relationship, not just about dresses but two people who went on a journey together and created something truly extraordinary. Even though Valentino is an icon for half a century, you really don’t know the real story-you don’t really know what happened behind the scenes to allow him to have the level of success he had. That’s really what inspired me to make the story because I saw their unique journey and I thought that was worthy of a film.

PGM: What do you want the viewers to walk away with that they never knew before about Valentino?

MT: I think people feel like they know who Valentino is; they know he is the master of a certain kind of glamour. They know that he is a person who is very adept at circulating with famous people and movie stars. He is a figure of high society, but really what you see is a true human being behind this man of inspiration, genius. I think that at the end of the film you admire Valentino not because he is wealthy, not because he is talented, and he is, you will admire him because he is a human being who is a self created person. He started with nothing and he had a dream, fulfilled his dream to the fullest extent and that’s a very rare story among humans. People have a lot of dreams that go unfulfilled, I think Valentino could be an inspiration to us all because he achieved his dream and he did it in a fashion that very few people have done before and very few people will do after him.

...“After me, the flood”

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