Valentino Garavani hasn’t worn his retirement lightly. The legendary designer regularly attends fashion shows and premieres as a guest of honour, and throws his support behind charitable efforts such as Natalia Vodianova’s recent White Fairy Tale Ball.
Now, the nearly 80-year-old designer is preparing to try on another role: theatre impresario.
‘We’re looking at the possibility of taking my story to Broadway, as a musical,’ Garavani told La Repubblica newspaper on Thursday, reported The Telegraph.
His 45 years in fashion have already served as the basis of museum exhibitions and a documentary. Valentino: The Last Emperor traced the couturier’s final collections and exit from his eponymous label. The designer has said that he found the lack of control in the filming process difficult, threatening to pull out at stressful moments over concerns about the no-holds barred portrayal.
‘I came across as a despot. The director had surprised Giammetti and me when we were arguing, which we always do in French. But then the applause never stopped and I realised that people liked me as I am. The film was even more successful in Toronto [film festival],’ he said.
The documentary about his life premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2008, and Valentino returned to the canal city to take in the premiere of Madonna’s W.E. at this year’s event. He told the Italian paper that early in his career, he created dresses for Wallis Simpson, the subject of the film.
‘I dressed her from the time I started to work in fashion at Guy Laroche in Paris. I even remember the kind of dresses—there was one made from black lace that she wore one night at Chez Maxim's with Onassis.’
The Duchess of Windsor never paid for the dress. In fact, she ‘didn’t even ask how much the dress cost,’ Valentino said.