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Saturday, May 22, 2010

this just in...

Premiering a new "real news" feature today
which I'm calling

...this just in...

# 0000001

MAY 15, 2010.The T-Shirt, Valentino-Style

BEVERLY HILLS—"For decades, the name Valentino evoked layers of crimson silk chiffon and shimmering satin floating down the red carpet amidst an explosion of flashbulbs, the über-tanned Valentino Garavani looking on.

But Mr. Garavani, 78, is in retirement these days, and the look in the window of the Valentino boutique on Rodeo Drive last week was a red t-shirt. Granted, with its strip of lace racing along the throat, a bouquet of embroidered silk roses, and $790 price tag, this t-shirt won't be mistaken for Hanes. But Valentino?

Since its inception in 1959, Valentino had been almost single-mindedly focused on the dressiest moments in a woman's life. Jackie Onassis married Aristotle in Valentino; Meryl Streep wore Valentino to channel Anna Wintour in "The Devil Wears Prada." The brand has legions of loyal ladies who lunch in Chanel, but for the gala don Valentino looks that can vary from $2,000 cocktail dresses to gowns costing tens of thousands of dollars.

"Before, Valentino was quite untouchable!" exclaimed Stefano Sassi, Valentino's chairman and chief executive officer recently, as he charged to the window and whisked the tee off its stand. But the fashion house's customers need clothes during daylight hours. "It's a reinterpretation of the brand," he said.

original drawing of concept tee

When Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli set out to design a fashionable t-shirt to benefit Haiti, their approach was more haute couture than charity tee.

A row of Valentino's new jersey t-shirts, which feature couture dressmaking techniques.

Valentino's two chief designers strolled in from a sidewalk cigarette break to join Mr. Sassi. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli worked for a decade under Mr. Garavani, learning the couture techniques that they began applying last fall to t-shirts, leather pants and other daywear. Sequins cascade like a waterfall down the front of one tee, and strips of tulle and crinoline turn another top into a frothy layer cake. "Fashion is changing today," said Mr. Piccioli, wearing white jeans. "Women have changed," chimed in Ms. Chiuri, who looked like a Valentino customer herself in a ruffled jacket and studded patent heels.

The timing could be seen as a little odd, given the global downturn and the recent emphasis on austerity that has shifted the focus from the $300 jeans to $60 versions. One early success: a €290 (about $360) Valentino t-shirt that sold out at Colette in Paris during couture week in February. It was imprinted with an orchid made of the flotsam that falls to a designer's floor—organza and sequins and lace. The assemblage was photographed, then printed on the inside of the shirt's jersey fabric, giving it a ghostly shadow from within. "These are dangerous flowers," said Mr. Piccioli. "Not garden party."

Valentino stores are carrying 10 tee styles priced from $590 to $1,980 depending on the lace, embroidery, crinoline and other detailing that rides atop that basic jersey tee. Each season, there will be more.

"This is anathema to [Mr.] Valentino," said Mr. Sassi of the designer, who retired in 2008 with a party in Rome. He said he hasn't actually asked the opinion of Mr. Garavani, who skipped the brand's Paris runway show in March, but he noted with a shrug, "We know this through people."

Several attempts to reach Mr. Garavani went unanswered, as did emails to former Valentino chief executive Matteo Marzotto.

A basic white T-shirt in jersey and lace becomes anything but basic. At $395, the white cotton top with delicate lace bow detail and sleeves is the most precious t-shirt I have ever seen. Priced at $395 this is not your run-of-the-mill charity tee, but what else would you expect from a Milanese luxury brand."

Question:  Would you buy one of these?
pop over to see Style Redux too, another visionary product found there

I've discovered there are many things other than  fashion we might be
interested in discussing via blogging, therefore,
this idea came to me.
I will try not to be boring, ranting, pontificating, too political, etc.

And, I suppose if no one responds this will be clear indication
that this little project simply did not work...
I'm hoping it will.
Thank you for your endurance and patience
 whilst the author takes various liberties...

I love my followers...thank you so very much for finding me a little bit interesting.


  1. a little interesting? I think not, a whole hell of a lot interesting. Would I buy one? Nope. If I had all the money in the world I would not buy one, and I don't care whose name is on it. People are starving to death, small children are being sold as slaves and worse, much worse. No, my dear Splendi I would not buy one. Hope this finds you well and happy.

  2. Bonjour Marsha,
    Very interesting indeed! No, not my style at all. Even if it was I'd grab a T at Gap and stick on bits of lace. Where has all the good taste gone? Take all the liberties you want dear!
    Happy SUnday to you,

  3. love Valentino..did you see the documentary? it was a really good insight into designer's lives and how they have to be so careful who they trust. Then again, so do us regular people!!

    Don't forget my giveaway on my blog this week, a chanel quote necklace handmade. Have a great week!!

  4. I would not buy this t, but I can still appreciate it very much! Thanks for sharing this here.

  5. i am such a simple, clean traditional girl and i would not buy it... but i sooo love valentino and have the doc on netflix... going to watch it today... i think he is a genius. have a great sunday.. xx

  6. I adore Valentino but no I wouldn't buy that t shirt.

  7. I love Valentino too, always so elegant and gorgeous. I probably would not buy one, as a piece of antique French furniture or other treasure is much more my thing. But, if I had all the money in the world, and already gave millions to good causes, I might.

    Let's not forget that there are hundreds of employees behind those expensive t shirts who all count on the Valentino brand for their income to feed their families. From designers to fabric manufacturers, to cutters and seamstresses to marketing people, to shop owners and employees~ you get the idea!

    xo Lidy

  8. FrenchGardenHouse has made an excellent point in her 2nd paragraph.

    I love fashion, I love quality, and I think the original idea of designing a tee shirt to help Haiti might have been a good one, however, it appears they have managed to "widen" their horizon quite a bit and plan on a new version of this every year or every season. So, has the "new talent" at Valentino taken to the "streets?"

    Another point, I'm quite sure these major businesses make it a standard practice to support many worthwhile charities around the world. No one would purchase their merchandise if they did not.

  9. well! Thanks for asking. If a was a gazillionaire I MIGHT buy the t shirt with the silence of the lambs type moth on it. I really like the floral embellished t shirts out now but not for the price.

  10. No, but if it went on sale for $49.95 I'd buy it. :)

  11. Funny, I just walked past this window last week and saw this for myself! I honestly felt sad because I knew the house would never be the same without V. On to the t-shirt, would I buy it? No thank you. If you're going to wear Valentino it should be a dress.no? That's like Hanes making coture gowns! xoxo


Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, each of them mean so much to me. After all, the interaction is the reason we blog. xx's