Tuesday, December 15, 2009

INSPIRATION Valentina 1951 ...FENDI SS//2008

...in this picture [left] Valentina is modeling an evening cloak of her design during a Vogue sitting, December 1951... Fendi SS 2008 [right].
Valentina Nicholaevna Sanina Schlee (1899- 1989), known professionally simply as Valentina, was a Russian émigrée fashion designer. She was most famous for having an affair with screen siren Greta Garbo. The Schlee family arrived in New York City in 1923 and became prominent members of the café society during the roaring 20ties, where Valentina stood out for her clothes and her style… when other women were wearing short skirts, she appeared in floor-length styles; when others wore low-neck dresses, she wore covered-up styles. Valentina's made-to-measure, flowing styles combined the intricate bias cut of Madeleine Vionnet and the grace of gowns by Alix Grès. "Simplicity survives the changes of fashion," she said in the late 1940s. "Women of chic are wearing now dresses they bought from me in 1936. Fit the century, forget the year." She was a skilled self-promoter. She modeled her own designs and rarely let her dramatic, elegant air of self-possession falter. She was always impeccably turned out, earning her a mention on the International Best Dressed List.