Qatar Creates, Qatar Museums and Maison Valentino will present ‘Forever Valentino’ – a major perspective exhibition that pays homage to its founder Valentino Garavani and the still-unfolding heritage of haute couture excellence.

The exhibition will be held at M7, the design and innovation hub located in Msheireb Downtown Doha, on view from 28 October to 1 April 2023.

Forever Valentino

Fiesta Gowns (Image courtesy of Valentino, photographer Agostino Osio)

A stunning theatrical experience, Forever Valentino is an exploration of the haute couture codes of the Maison and a voyage through Rome, Valentino’s home, the place where everything started and where its identity belongs.

Forever Valentino is the Maison’s largest exhibition to date and its first presentation in the Middle East. Coinciding with Valentino Garavani’s 90th birthday and the unveiling of the Valentino Autumn/Winter 2022 Haute Couture collection in the heart of Rome, the exhibition is conceived as a vast panoramic view of the history of the Maison.

Forever Valentino builds a dream-like image of the city of Rome, guiding viewers in and out of palazzos, squares and courtyards, while simultaneously allowing exclusive access to secluded, intimate spaces such as the celebrated Valentino Ateliers, the storied archives of the Maison and the fitting salons in the fabled headquarters of Piazza Mignanelli.

The exhibition depicts an instant city constructed as a collage of environments and experiences in which Valentino’s creations are displayed in dialogue with many of the sources of inspiration that have stirred up the creativity of both the founder, Valentino Garavani and his successor Pierpaolo Piccioli.

Through the juxtapositions of different atmospheres and narratives, the exhibition composes an emotional dramaturgy inspired by the capriccio, an 18th-century art form that combined disparate views of cities and architectures, re-imagining them as fantastical landscapes of the mind.

Conceived by geniuses of the Baroque such as Giovanni Antonio Canaletto and Giovanni Battista Piranesi, the art of the capriccio turned the marvellous Italian vistas into enchanted mirages, creating many icons and myths. Fashion itself is, of course, composed of capriccios – of fantasies, inspirations made material, art, music, and culture translated to cloth.

Haute couture pieces, pret-à-porter outfits

Featuring over 200 Valentino haute couture pieces and pret-à-porter outfits – presented on mannequins by La Rosa – accompanied by accessories and fashion objects displayed in an immersive scenography, Forever Valentino weaves a richly textured image of Rome inlaid with private memories and precious discoveries from the Maison’s six-decades-long history, including rarely seen ensembles designed for the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy and, more recently, Zendaya, along with stunning creations and virtuosic examples of Valentino’s legendary cult of excellence.

The exhibition will also include ensembles from the private collection of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, a long-standing client of Valentino.

Dream-like vision of Rome

Valentino Garavani at Piazza di Spagna

Few brands have established a profound connection to its locale as Valentino built with Rome, cultivating a never-ending love affair with the eternal city, where Garavani had founded his Maison in 1959, at the height of the Dolce Vita, inaugurating his headquarters in the heart of the city’s historic centre.

In the work of Garavani’s successor, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Rome appears less as an exclusive emblem of opulence and more as a vibrant, multi-cultural metropolis – a polyphonic crucible of communities and voices that translate into a complex fabric of both grand spectacles and personal intimacies.

Forever  Valentino stages a pop-up, dream-like vision of Rome which is even more enticing when seen in Doha, a city where the past and the future meet at a vertiginous speed.

Forever Valentino is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the artistic director of the New Museum New York and by fashion critic and author, Alexander Fury, in close coordination with Valentino’s Creative Director, Pierpaolo Piccioli.

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