Fashion is for the thin: Valentino

Last updated 10:33 29/11/2012
Valentino exhibtion
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The catwalk display at the Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition at London's Somerset House.

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Valentino always designed for slim women because it is easier for them to wear "bows, ruffles, pouffes, everything".

The designer - full name Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani - retired in 2008 but still has a great deal of love for his profession.

An exhibition of his best pieces starts in London this week and has made him think about his process of creation.

Although the 80-year-old star can understand why some people think designers should use models who look more like everyday women on the catwalk, it's something he's glad he never entertained.

"This was always a sort of conversation, and then the press they said stop [using] those girls, they weigh nothing... We tried - I didn't - but somebody tried to have more bigger model [pulls disgusted face]," he told British newspaper The Guardian.

"It cannot work. You know why? If you do something for a bigger body you cannot express yourself like you wish, because if you want to put a little more things in one side, or something different in the other side, if the body is not [slim] you can't do it... When you show for the first time the girl must be like a dream, you can put everything - bows, ruffles, pouffes, everything! Everything. That is it."

The designer claims people who go to fashion shows want to enter into a fantasy world.

They expect to see dream-like visions on the catwalk, which Valentino believes can only be delivered on models with a very specific body shape.

The designer's belief in beautiful clothes extends to his everyday life. He recalls his horror at seeing a man wearing a T-shirt during a recent trip to the theatre in New York City.

"I start to look around and suddenly I saw a person in front of me. I swear to God, in a T-shirt, not very well cut! No, oh my gosh. Not very clean. And a Bermuda short and a flip-flop on the foot," he explained.

Such sights "disturb" the designer "a lot" and none more so than when he is in the UK. This is because he is adamant people dress to impress at all times in Britain.

"When you think about the English, and about their country houses, you know... that many, many people do the Saturday evening in tuxedo and gown," he insisted.

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