Habitually Chic®'s Logo  

Valentino: A Perfect Life

by habituallychic

12 . 21 . 09

My favorite part of the Valentino: The Last Emperor DVD is the aptly titled special feature A Perfect Life: Around the World with Valentino. In it, we get a sneak peek at what it takes to run Mr. Valentino’s life and homes including his gorgeous chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland.

The ultimate treat was getting to watch the uber talented photographer Francois Halard photograph Mr. Valentino and his ski chalet for British Vogue. Mr. Halard is one of my favorite photographers and it was a pleasure to watch him work and see the results which I’ve posted here.

I was lucky enough to speak the man behind the Valentino documentary, Matt Trynauer, about the film and it’s instant sensation. Matt wrote a really fabulous article about Valentino for Vanity Fair for which he met them in Rome where he was able to look into their world and their life. It is the relationship between Valentino and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti that captivated him and made him think that it should be on film. So he asked them and they said yes but it definitely wasn’t that easy!

Matt and his crew would follow Valentino and his entourage for about two weeks per month for two years and always when they knew something important would be happening. I mentioned to Matt that you could easily hate Mr. Valentino for all his wealth and privilege but yet you don’t and I think it’s because you see how hard he works and that he gets upset just like everyone else. He said the final cut took a year to negotiate because Valentino wanted those outbursts cut out of the film but they definitely serve to show that his life isn’t always perfect or without problems.

I had watched the Karl Lagerfeld documentary Lagerfeld Confidential shortly before seeing the Valentino documentary in the theatres and was struck by one major difference between the two legendary fashion designers. While Mr. Lagerfeld states that he needs his alone time to recharge his batteries, Mr. Valentino is never alone but constantly surrounded by an entourage of people! Giancarlo Giammetti says that they never spent more than two months apart total in the entire 50 years of their relationship.

It’s no secret that Valentino lives like no other fashion designer but I guess when you’ve worked as hard as he has for so long, you’re entitled to live so beautifully. Matt said that during times of economic despair such as the depression, the movies became more “diamond encrusted.” The world needed a fantasy and Mr. Valentino definitely gave us a look into his diamond encrusted fantasy world!

I was surprised that quite a few of friends haven’t seen the Valentino documentary yet and if you are among those who haven’t, I highly recommend that you rent it today! And don’t forget to watch the special features! He really does have the perfect life and perfect homes! Oh, and perfect pugs too!

Photos by Francois Halard

Comments Closed

  1. Reggie Darling December 21, 2009 | 12:58 am

    Hello HC:
    Great post. I recommend buying the DVD so one can have it in one’s library for repeat viewings! We watched it start to finish, slack-jawed at the mind-boggling luxury of his life. The houses, the staff, the jet, the cars, the pugs! — Reggie

  2. Cathi December 21, 2009 | 2:42 am

    I definitely will pick it up – thanks for the recommendation. His home looks fabulous! Have a wonderful Christmas week!

  3. Renee Finberg December 21, 2009 | 2:48 am

    wow. what a life!
    i must see this film.
    the interiors, the people and places must be unreal.

    *thanks for the peek and the teaser

    and btw, merry Christmas my friend xx

  4. the NEO-traditionalist December 21, 2009 | 3:59 am

    This is one of my all time favorite documentaries as well (and not only because of his puggies!). I literally got goosebumps during the dramatic moments—what pressure he worked under in the grueling fashion industry, and for so many years! I remember visiting the Valentino shop in Rome with Suzanne Tucker when I was much younger. She explained that Valentino dressed and celebrated women’s bodies better than any other living designer. It’s true, there’s just something so awe-inspiringly beautiful and feminine about his work. As for his place in Switzerland—it makes me homesick for my years there! His chateau outside Paris is my all-time favorite Valentino though…the photographs from Vogue still makes me weak in the knees. Thanks for the Sunday evening inspiration : )
    XXXX Kate

  5. Karena December 21, 2009 | 4:40 am

    Heather, I have not seen it, is it too late to put on my Holiday list for Santa!?

  6. Greet December 21, 2009 | 9:50 am

    Great post!
    The chalet is of course gorgeous!


  7. Jaime December 21, 2009 | 2:49 pm

    Stunning home- I still need to see this movie!

  8. Ivy Lane December 21, 2009 | 3:03 pm

    It is so refreshing to see how by following your passion, the rewards will come..in this case and come, and come!!!

    Great post!

  9. Foodie December 21, 2009 | 3:27 pm

    Gorgeous, simply gorgeous, such understated luxury. Lovely.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  10. Brillante Home Decor December 21, 2009 | 5:48 pm

    I saw the movie the moment it came to theatres and being Italian of course I felt proud. Valentino was also born near my city, Milan, and I vividly remember him starting his career (yes I am vintage!) showing on TV (B&W) a gorgeous chiffon dress (probably pale blue). He is lucky to have Giammetti as a business partner and a gorgeous American boyfriend, magnificent homes and a great lifestyle but he deserves it for his geniality and all his hard work.
    Happy Holidays Heather!

  11. Gwen Driscoll December 21, 2009 | 8:23 pm


    I love Valentino and I loved the movie. It’s so great to see how someone this talented and successful works and lives. Thanks for the great post.

    Gwen Driscoll
    Ragland Hill Social

  12. Luciane October 18, 2010 | 1:14 pm


    I’ve seen it! I loved the movie, but wow, Valentino is Valentino! He can be rude sometimes, but under that skin you can tell that there’s a “soft” soul.

    Beautiful post.