Oh how I wish my Grandma Lydia, seamstress extraordinaire, could have seen this film. Valentino: The Last Emperor offers an intimate, honest and touching look at how a genius' vision and a lifelong partnership can, when all the stars align, combine to make sublime, yet completely wearable works of art that in the end serve one simple purpose: to make women beautiful.
Throughout the movie Valentino amuses, his partner Giancarlo Giammetti charms, their lifestyle wows, their 45-year reign at the pinnacle of fashion amazes. But head seamstress Antonietta de Angelis steals my heart. With her meticulous perfectionism, incredible knowledge and talent, salty personality and unaffected style she could just have easily been Lydia Panini Gatto. At one point, while viewing an ethereal white gown that's practically a character in the movie, Valentino turns to Antonietta and says, "Look. Look at your masterpiece." Even the emperor knows to give credit where it's due.
DIVA DVD: Valentino: The Last Emperor. Watch the DVD Special Feature "The Red Dress" for a wonderful in-depth look at producing a couture creation.
"Use the good china for breakfast."