Valentino: Master of Couture

Valentino: Master of Couture

29 November 2012 – 3 March 2013
Daily 10.00-18.00, until 21.00 Thursdays
(24 & 31 Dec: 10.00-16.00, 25 & 26 Dec: closed, 1 Jan: 12.00-18.00)

Embankment Galleries, South Wing
£12.50/£9 concessions
For group bookings click here
For exclusive hire click here

This major new exhibition celebrating the life and work of Valentino showcases over 130 exquisite haute couture designs worn by icons such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Gwyneth Paltrow in an exciting installation created specially for Somerset House.

Divided into three sections; visitors start with a private view of Valentino’s world through photographs from his personal archive, offering an intimate portrait of the life of the master. The exhibition then unfolds into a couture fashion show where roles are reversed with visitors walking the catwalk to view a staggering one hundred and thirty Valentino haute couture designs. Valentino: Master of Couture is a journey into the secretive world of Italian couture.

The final section unpicks the painstaking processes of crafting couture exemplified by the stunning wedding dress of Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, demonstrating the beauty of the work of les petit mains who sew each stitch by hand. In addition a specially commissioned group of films allows behind-the scenes access to the Valentino atelier, where the craft of couture is demonstrated in a series of fascinating samples. Finally, discover more about the man, the icon, by exploring the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum.

There are a series of talks, screenings and events to accompany the exhibition.


I love doors. Especially this one by Teatum+Teatum.


My first thought was, with all the rain in London, the perforations seem impractical. Actually my first thought was: ooooh pretty. I’m still curious how these doors are constructed. Nonetheless, ooooh pretty.  Actually, my first thought was ooooh pretty.  Still curious how those doors are constructed.  Nonetheless, ooooh pretty.


Olympic Pavillion is a Coca-Cola Beatbox, sounds by Mark Ronson


From Dezeen: The circular walls of the Coca-Cola Beatbox will be covered in ETFE plastic pillows that are sensitive to both movement and touch. As visitors come into contact with the building each pillow will emit different sounds prerecorded by British DJ and producer Mark Ronson from a selection of Olympic sports.

Looks cool. But I’m sure it will get annoying pretty darn quickly. I do want to check it out.


winter photos that make me smile

It is absolutely disgusting in NYC today.  The snow is now slush and the grey sky is suffocating any hope out of the day.  Thank goodness for my friend Tom Holbourn's photography.  These two are a brilliant reminder of how splendid winter snow can be.  

Enjoy more of his work at http://www.tomholbourn.co.uk/