Sunday, December 6, 2009

O Mio Babbino Caro

"I love beauty its not my fault" is a quote from Valentino Garavani and it so eloquently sums up what brought me to tears about watching the last few minutes of Matt Tyrnauer's documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor. I sit here after watching the ending of the film for the fifth time in a row and I don't think I can name a more beautiful, touching and endearing ending to a film.

It starts the second that the aria "O Mio Babbino Caro" starts playing and Valentino walks out wearing all white onto the also white runway. He is illuminated by the stage lighting which makes him appear as if he is passing through the gates of heaven. A fitting image for a man who has just shown his last collection, and the crowd gives him a standing ovation. The three people that he greets are significant people he has known for decades: Diane Von Furstenburg, Giancarlo Giametti and Karl Lagerfeld.

His works of art go down the runway and I really feel I am witnessing the end of an era. Backstage Giancarlo Giammetti refuses to take any credit saying repeatedly to someone who tries to congratulate him "not me, not me"

Fashion great to fashion great. Karl Lagerfeld whispers to Valentino "That's the way it should be done. Compared to us the rest are making rags."

A bit of humour is infused into this emotional scene as Andre Leon Talley goes on and on in the background "triumph of the will, triumph of the will" as Valentino is greeted by Donatella Versace and Tom Ford. Finally a long emotional hug takes place between Valentino and another Italian design legend, Giorgio Armani. Arun Nayar and Liz Hurley cannot help but stare at such a poignant moment.

My absolute favorite part is after they head outside. With a view of the coliseum, "O Mio Babbino Caro" comes on again and fireworks go off. Giammetti describes how the fashion industry has changed forever (trust me I know, I work in fashion and barely every touch any clothes.) The acrobat in white tosses white roses out of a bouquet as he finishes his thought. Then the other four acrobats in red sway in synchrony with the music and for a moment no words are spoken. I feel that I am in a complete fantasy. Such beauty cannot be real. The last words spoken in the entire film are a perfect quote from Valentino "Après Moi, le Déluge" After me, the flood.
The film ends with applause, a hug and kiss between Giammetti and the designer and then a globe with Valentino's name all over it disappears into the heavens.


  1. Hey, i saw on you said you've just watched The Last Emperor for the sixth time haha...where did you see it?
    did u see it online? i'm dyinggggggg to see it but i haven't gotten to..

  2. I saw it when it in theaters and then ordered the DVD on and have watched it five times since! Haha