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Valentino: The Last Emperor 

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer (Phase 4)

At one point in the documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor we watch fashion legend Valentino turn white fabric into an intricate, silver-sequin-kissed gown. It's impossible to deny the dress is beautiful. The film's set at the end of a fashion era---the demanding designer and his indispensable longtime business partner are planning a retrospective honouring their 45-year career. Valentino retired soon after. VTLE respectfully, concisely (if over-reverently) demonstrates the designer's enormous impact on fashion. But watching that ostentatious, self-important final show, it's hard to share the sorrow wracking Gwyneth, Uma and the event's other guests. Valentino didn't die, guys. He just stopped making dresses.

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Vol 26, No 24
November 8, 2018

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