Los Angeles was painted Valentino red on Wednesday night when the legendary Italian fashion designer was feted at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The museum's Costume Council screened the West Coast premiere of Matt Tyrnauer's documentary "Valentino: The Last Emperor," and presented its Legend Award to the designer and his longtime partner Giancarlo Giammetti at a dinner afterward at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills.
FOR THE RECORD:
Valentino event: In a caption with a photo accompanying an April 5 Image article about the premiere party for the film "Valentino: The Last Emperor," guest Helene Cooper's jacket was incorrectly identified as vintage Valentino. It is not; Cooper bought the jacket 25 years ago in Cairo. —
More than 250 hours of footage of Valentino was shot over the two years leading up to the 76-year-old designer's retirement from the world stage, when he left his name in the hands of Italian textile company Marzotto Apparel and a string of new designers who haven't come close to filling his shoes. In the film, watching Valentino live a life as lavish as his clothes and obsess over every detail (his household staff spray-paints his lawn green before parties; his atelier doesn't have even one sewing machine because everything is done by hand), you realize what's being lost with the demise of the haute couture tradition and the fashion industry's increased emphasis on commerce over art. (Tyrnauer also did a book with Taschen, "Valentino: A Grand Italian Epic.")
The Costume Council was formed 55 years ago to support LACMA's Costume and Textile department by raising funds to procure collections and foster interest in design throughout the community. Naturally, its members dressed for the occasion in all shades of Valentino's signature crimson.
They were joined by celebs Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Joan Collins and Nicky Hilton, as well as L.A. style stars Lisa Eisner, Rita Wilson, Katherine Ross, Rachel Zoe, and Tom Ford and his partner Richard Buckley, who called the film -- which opened in limited release Friday -- the best he'd ever seen about the fashion world.
As a former fashion journalist and Ford's companion for more than 20 years, he should know.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times