What do women want? Valentino answers this in the new documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor. Women, he says simply, “they want to be beautiful.” In all actuality, this film is less about the fashion, and even less about the man — more about the fashion empire created by the friends and business partners Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, an original bromance if you will (Sorry Brody.)
Watching this movie is a treat if you’re into the beautiful hand-stitched gowns of Valentino and seeing the quirky relationship between the two men — and the lavish ending celebrating Valentino’s 45th anniversary can’t be beat. But one can also truly appreciate the bittersweet moment as Karl Lagerfield and Valentino walk hand-in-hand at a 2007 show — the marking of the end of an era, where fashion as art is replaced by fashion as a mass-market franchise. Opulent. Decadent. Valentino: The Last Emperor will have something for everyone, and everything for anyone with an interest in fashion.
Valentino: The Last Emperor is playing at Chicago’s AMC Pipers Alley 4 (Info and tickets at www.fandango.com) and Highland Park’s Landmark Renaissance Place (Info and tickets at www.landmarktheaters.com) until the end of May. — Samantha Leal