Visited the Valentina exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York today. The gloved gown to the left was for exotic Hollywood beauty Merle Oberon. The green gown was designed for Lillian Gish who apparently wore Valentina both on and off stage. Finally to the right this Katharine Hepburn ensemble was for The Philadelphia Story. Valentina declared "At last, I made her look like a woman."
To your left are three Greta Garbo pieces. Apparently Garbo was pretty damn specific about what she wanted. The coat to your left she asked that it be
...a combination of The Duchess of Windsor, Lady Mendl and George Bernard ShawYou can't see the details too well here but the gown to your right, the "petal pink and black floral medallion silk brocade" is amazing.
Valentina was quite a high society character (why no biopic of her?), a young immigrant who became a self made celebrity carefully controlling her image and lying about her past. She was one of the original superstar designers, on equal fame footing with her clients and fond of delivering eminently quotable soundbites like
My salon is like a clinic where I treat clients for bad tasteThe exhibit also had a clip of a fun televised interview between her and Edward R Murrow which brought back memories of David Straitharn's Oscar winning* performance in Good Night, and Good Luck. Good night, good luck and good times.
*I like to pretend sometimes