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Valentina, the Glamorous

Sorry for the lack of updates- it's fashion week here so everything is a little crazy at the moment. I'm going to a few friend's shows today and tomorrow, which shall be fun, but I went to the most amazing opening last night. It was at the Museum of the City of New York about Valentina, the most famous American woman couturier. Entitled Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity it was a completely gorgeous retrospective of her work from the '30s through the early '60s. Her story is rather remarkable, the true American dream- she came to New York as a young immigrant from Russia and started working from the bottom up, reinventing herself into a glamorous style icon who dressed all of the stars of the day. The show had probably the largest amount of pieces I have seen in a fashion show in a long time and it was quite intoxicating being surrounded by such gorgeous pieces. On display were dresses of hers worn by such luminaries as Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish and society queen Millicent Rogers along with costumes she designed for many movies. I forgot to bring my camera (it was really too busy to take any photos anyway), but I plan on going back to spend more time looking at the dresses without the opening party crowds. I can't wait to pick up the book that Kohle Yohannan, the curator, wrote as a companion piece- he did such a wonderful job on the show that I'm sure the book will be fantastic as well, especially if it includes all of the gorgeous studio photographs of her- she was so intelligent about how she shaped her image that it is very interesting to see them all together.

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