Monday, September 8, 2008
Valentino: The man, the movie, the party
(Valentino waving to the audience at the Winter Garden theatre)
I have to say that this experience has not only been the highlight of my career, but of my life.
Meeting Mon. Valentino and his partner Giancarlo Giammetti was a pleasure and an honour.
This is how it happened...
Yesterday a co-worker of mine phoned me up and asked: " Are you coming in to work tomorrow?" I said no because I normally have Mondays off but told her I could come in. She said: "Do you want to interview Valentino?" I didn't scream but I paused for a moment, digesting this information and hurriedly said: "Yes! Of course!"
My co-worker had the interview pitched to her by Naked Eye magazine, since Valentino is in town for the documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor, but since she doesn't know anything about fashion and knew that I was obsessed, she knew I would want to do it. I owe her big time!
She told me that I had to go to the screening of the movie ( no problem!) which started in three hours and I was invited to the after-party in Valentino's honour. By this time, I was freaking out. What to wear?? What to ask him?? WHAT TO WEAR???
I went on my computer and Googled the shit out of Valentino, jotted down a dozen questions and then began my task of finding the perfect outfit. Two of my friends from work couldn't come to the party with me since one was at the ET Canada TIFF party at Casa Loma and the other was attending the DSquared fashion show. Tough life, huh? So I called up my friend: "Are you busy tonight?" "Noooo...." "How would you like to go to a party...for Valentino?" "Ummm...YES!"
And so it was decided. I would go to the screening of the movie at the Winter Garden theatre, meet my friend after it finished and together we would head to the party at the Green House.
It was moving, intimate, funny and passionate. It told the story of Valentino and his life long partner, Giancarlo Giammetti, and Valentino's last year as a couturier. The filmmaker, Matt Tyrnauer, followed the two as Valentino prepared his final Haute Couture collection and threw his 45th anniversary party. Valentino is an immensely funny man who obviously cares about his work and Giancarlo. The two bicker constantly about who is right and wrong, where they met, whether a dress should have an extra fold, and that Valentino is too tan. I laughed through the whole movie. It was very touching.
Valentino and Giancarlo watched the movie with the rest of us in a box seat and when the movie finished, the audience gave him a standing ovation for ten minutes and he loved every second of it, waving his hands to us, blowing us kisses and bowing. It was incredible.
There was a question and answer period afterwards with the director, Valentino and Giancarlo. Valentino said that the Toronto premiere is his favorite so far (flatterer!) and that he wants to design the clothes for the Toronto ballet. He was very thankful to be there and was very polite.
Valentino at the podium and Giancarlo to his right.
I met up with my friend and we headed to the Greenhouse for the party. We got there around 7 p.m., walked down the small red carpet and headed straight for the free champagne. The venue was intimate but beautiful; it looked like an Italian house, with antique furniture and detailing on the wall. The place was full of PR people, the media and hangers-on. We went on the patio and I found three friends that I went to university with who were working there for a production company. At least I knew someone!
(Me at the Valentino party)
There weren't any celebrities there (I guess everyone was at Casa Loma or Spice Route for the E! party) but I did see the Wedding SOS host, Jane Dayus-Hinch! My friend and I chatted to her and she was really nice and talked about a wedding she filmed in Whitby on Saturday.
Valentino and his entourage arrived at around 8:45 and were herded to the VIP area where three bodyguards closed him off. We were all allowed in the room with him but we couldn't go to speak to him. Giancarlo did come out and talk to a few people and Valentino also stood up and chatted with some people but he didn't leave the area. I tried to get photos but people kept blocking the way; it was packed with an enthralled audience. We were in the presence!
I also have a story about my friend and National Post columnist Shinan Govani's butt, but I won't repeat it here...
The party ended at 9 p.m. since the VMA afterparty was being held there so we left.
I'm about to write up more questions for Valentino, and I will update you guys with what happened at the interview once I get home.