VALENTINA: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity
By Kohle Yohannan
Foreword by Harold Koda
Preface by Phyllis Magidson
It was whispered by some that Valentina was a Russian spy, while others insisted she was an aristocrat or a dancer in Diaghilev's Ballets Russes... the elusive designer's history is brilliantly researched in this beautiful book by Kohle Yohannan and rediscovered as one of the most important fashion designers of the twentieth century.
The mysterious and glamorous couturier had an early celebrity clientele including entertainment greats such as Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn and Katherine Cornell. Her pioneering style circumvented glitz and glamour with simple, chic and comfortably draped alternatives... all designed with complex details and engineering marvels. Acutely aware of the power of the media (Madonna must have taken tips from Valentina's life!) she carefully crafted and managed her presence in the press, sculpting a glamorous and somethimes shocking image relating to style and taste.
This book is a Must-Have for all fashion enthusiasts... readers will learn of Valentina's mysterious past, the complex simplicity of her designs, her meteoric rise to fame and her relationships with world famous clients, who she personally chose in the most discerning and idiosyncratic manner.
* An exhibition of Valentina's work opened at the Museum Of The City Of New York on February 12, 2009. I attended the opening and loved the unique exhibit... don't miss it!