Monday, February 2, 2009

Personified Luxe

Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity
by Kohle Yohannan, Harold Koda
Rizzoli New York


Valentina Nicholaevna Sanina Schlee or simply Valentina was a divine being who transcended mere mortal understanding of simplistic glamour and luxury. The Russian born - American Couturier dazzled the fashion world and glitterati with her larger then life persona, genius aphorisms ("Mink is for Football") and proactive and transcending designs - Valentina was ahead of the curve and is the originator when it comes to branding oneself (Eat your hear out Rachel Zoe!) In Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity (Rizzoli New York) you are re-introduced to the one name wonder who was the Couturier for social and theater personalities in the 1920's throughout the 50's. With clients like Rosalind Russell, Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn and the like she was the epitome of All-American chic. Known for her own personal style (turbans and flowing dresses) her clothes combined the intricacy of the bias cut of Vionnet with the graceful flow of styles by Alix Gres - unlike those French designers Valentina was the main attraction- she pioneered style like no other! In this brilliantly researched book you get 1st hand accounts on everything Valentina- from photos, sketches and her rags to riches tale you will re-discover one other the most important fashion designers of the twentieth century. This exquisite tome is a must for all fashion afficiandos.


VALENTINA: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity
by Kohle Yohannan
Foreword by Harold Koda with a Preface by Phyllis Magidson
Rizzoli New York
$ 75
Available at: Rizzoli New York, Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com

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