Every day of Fashion Revolution week (23-29 April) I’ll be auctioning off my most loved, often never worn, wardrobe treasures.
I’m starting with one of my favourites of all time, a delicate lace trim and pin-tucked bib semi-sheer eyelet bodice with a flared lattice-tulle skirt by RED Valentino.
I adore everything about this dress, the contrasting ivory and black, its feather-light fragility and vintage feel. But for one reason or another, it’s never made it off the hanger and I’m hoping it will find a loving new home.
Valentino comes from the Latin, Valentinus, which means brave, which feels pretty fitting as Valentino Garavani himself was a brave man. Not only for the fearless passion that made turned him into one the world’s most idolised designers, but for his lashings of fake tan look that make him look like an airbrushed Oompa Loompa.
He took an interest in fashion from an early age and moved à Paris to study at École des Beaux-Arts. After working with some of the biggest designers of that time, he moved back to his motherland to set up on his own. Good things don’t come to those who wait, they come to those who make things happen.
Valentino worked tirelessly to get his brand off the ground, setting up a maison de couture on Via Condotti in Rome closely resembling the grandeur his former Parisian surrounds.
A couple of years following his international debut in Firenze, 1962, Jackie Kennedy spotted one of his pieces at some sort of gathering. She tracked down the wanted modiste and after a personal fashion show at her apartment on Fifth Avenue, snapped up six of his haute couture dresses and wore them during her year of mourning.
That’s how marketing worked back then I guess. No Instagrams, no hastags, no tweets, no Facebook pop ups…. Just one woman with a pretty little face, a classic, iconic style and a lot of cameras pointed at her.
ROMANTIC ECCENTRIC DRESS
As much as I would love to own one of his famous gowns, they’re a little bit out of my price range. This is where RED Valentino comes in.
The R.E.D. stands for Romantic Eccentric Dress.
Born in 2003 as a diffusion line of the magnifico Valentino, it’s dedicated to the young and the urban, to street stylers with an appreciation for craft. Every piece is a work of art.
Creative Director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, is famous for resuscitating the brand when he joined eight years ago, injecting a new wave of creativity and a passion for romantic cuts inspired by different cultures and centuries.
A seventy year old brand that according to Good On You, still has a lot of growing up to do. Valentino rates as “very poor” on the app which measures the ethical behaviours of brands. Good On You collects brand data and insight to measure how they treat their workers, the environment and animals. They’re dedicated to creating a community of informed shoppers who want to Buy Better.
Valentino’s rating is down to the fact that they publish very little information. So while I love the idea of this app, it’s really only good to use as a rough guide as it’s only one perspective. Greenpeace actually has Valentino listed as a leader in its Detox campaign, which focuses on eliminating hazardous chemicals.
So maybe Fashion Revolution week is the perfect chance to ask Valentino to speak up.
BID HERE20% of the selling price will be donated to Fashion Revolution.