Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity

Overview

Valentina was the twentieth century’s first American fashion designer celebrity, working and living on equal social footing with the clientele she dressed (Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, Katharine Hepburn, Millicent Rogers, and Audrey Hepburn, among others). One of the few designers who proved that America could live without the Parisian haute couture, her career is a much needed missing link in the history of American fashion. Beyond merely turning out show-stopping evening gowns, Valentina’s exotic beauty, ...
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New York, NY 2009 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 279 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. ... Additional shipping required for priority and media mail due to size and weight. Please inquire prior to purchase. Thank You Read more Show Less

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Overview

Valentina was the twentieth century’s first American fashion designer celebrity, working and living on equal social footing with the clientele she dressed (Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, Katharine Hepburn, Millicent Rogers, and Audrey Hepburn, among others). One of the few designers who proved that America could live without the Parisian haute couture, her career is a much needed missing link in the history of American fashion. Beyond merely turning out show-stopping evening gowns, Valentina’s exotic beauty, dramatic personality, and incomparable style earned her a legendary reputation. Kohle Yohannan explores the carefully constructed persona and lore of this designer who helped define American Couture. Published in association with the Museum of the City of New York’s exhibition Valentina: New York Couture and the Cult of Celebrity, this book includes photographs, never-before-seen personal ephemera, sketches, and original platinum prints from master photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, and George Hoyningen-Huene.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The life and work of an important, yet forgotten figure of 20th-century fashion design." ~The Palm Beach Daily News

“In Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity, Kohle Yohannan has revived the legend of a woman who — as much as her clients Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo — was a legend in her own time.” ~The New York Times

"Valentina preserved an air of mystery that helped solidify her authority on matters of style. The author lifts the veil to reveal… the rags-to-riches American dream narrative." ~Russia! Magazine

"The elusive designer's history is brilliantly researched in this beautiful book...a Must-Have for all fashion enthusiasts..." ~VidCatTV.com

“If only all fashion books were as brilliant as this gorgeous Valentina tome by Kohle Yohannan…” ~1stDibs.com

"In this brilliantly researched book you get 1st hand accounts on everything Valentina- from photos, sketches and her rags to riches tale you will re-discover one other the most important fashion designers of the twentieth century. This exquisite tome is a must for all fashion aficionados. " ~LePetiteBlog.com

"[A] glance back at Valentina's fearless talent could remind frightened designers what audacious fashion is really all about." ~LA2Day.com

"Rizzoli has released an enchanting volume dedicated to the legend...The book's exquisite touches better represent a woman who aimed for the exquisite in all things...savor Yohannan's well-told tale and the expertly reproduced photos in the nearly 300-page volume." ~StudioInternational.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847830831
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 2/17/2009
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 12.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kohle Yohannan is an art and design historian, and the author of several books. Harold Koda is curator-in-charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exhibition Schedule: Museum of the City of New York, opens February 14, 2009
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Table of Contents

The Legend of Valentina 7

Foreword Harold Koda Koda, Harold 11

Preface Phyllis Magidson Magidson, Phyllis 15

Russian Pierrot Sings the Blues 25

From Russia, with George 33

Leon Bakst 41

Valentina Gowns, Inc.: High Fashion, High Prices, and High Drama 75

The Theater of Valentina: Costume or Couture? 121

Enter Garbo 155

The Clothes 183

Valentina and the Cult of Celebrity 199

Paris, New York: World War II and American Fashion 237

The End of an Era 253

Endnotes 268

Photography Credits 276

Acknowledgments 278

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