ANUNAROSE: So just tell us a little about the inspiration for your Spring/Summer’12 collection …
Valentino: Well the inspiration .. well every season there’s a little bit of cuckooness that happens in your mind before you actually choose what the inspiration is and my biggest challenge this season was that it was spring/summer so i had to find colours, but i design a little bit of avant-garde so it was challenging because my staple colour is black. So [the question was] how do you get mad colours without being contemporary. I went to Miami and i ended up meeting this humongous parrot, big like this (shows me how big with arms) and i thought it was amazing because it had this historic black beak and it had all these colours and i thought that’s my animal! So i thought now l have the must-have representative for the collection, the Rio de Janero bird but how do i get away from Rio de Janero and Brazil and make it more city. So i used the nice beautiful colours on the parrot and developed the red, the green, the blue into my collection.
ANUNAROSE: So your entire collection was inspired by the parrot?
Valentino: Yes, all of it! (laughs) The girls [models] have become like my parrot girls, they have the extensions in their hair and feathers, even the shoes i made to look like a bird. I was really turned on by this animal so i decided to take it and go with the theme. One of my team and I went to LA where we rented a huge hanger with a phantom camera that shoots 100 frames per second and we just flew three birds on the plane and we created this slow motion film of parrot birds that fly and it was amazing. But i was a little bit annoyed that there was no music to inspire the collection so i decided to compose thirty minutes of music to go with the new collection!
ANUNAROSE: You’re joking! So you actually composed the music for your collection yourself?
Valentino: (Laughs) 100%! i don’t use anybody, i don’t use anything, you know it’s all just me. I got a group of two friends who are musicians and are amazing and we did thirty minutes of our own music. This is like 1 o’clock at night making the music (shows me a video of him in the studio).
ANUNAROSE: If you could describe your collection in two words what would they be?
Valentino: Really? Do i have time to think about it? (laughs) I think sophisticated and very feminine because i’ve made a lot of long dresses as part of the collection.
ANUNAROSE: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced making this collection?
Valentino: For me, It’s always a big challenge making something that is new but not awkward, you know? Sometimes you do things but it’s like how do you wear it? I think the challenge for a lot of designers is to throw away that sketch that is too complicated because then it gets overdue. The most challenging things for designers is to find that niche [balance] to not make it too lazy because then it gets boring, don’t make it too complicated because then it becomes overdue and it becomes too pretentious.
ANUNAROSE: Describe what kind of girl you see wearing your clothes …
Valentino: It’s actually an intellectual girl, meaning, put it this way, there are garments which you need to have a little bit of style not even to wear but you need to have a little bit of style to pick because everybody can wear … go into the store to choose ”i’ll buy this one versus that one” this is where you have to be a little bit educated in fashion so i think that so far i’ve been having a good response from the industry that appreciates good fashion and what i do.
ANUNAROSE: What kind of celebrities do you see wearing your clothes?
Valentino: That’s one thing that i have to be honest about, i never think about celebrities. You know when they say ”who inspires you” to me it’s the New York subway, meaning Union Square meaning the people in New York, there’s just so much fashion, you walk down the street and you see so much different fashion. And then you have the big game of the celebrity, it’s almost like after i do the collection then it takes one of the media to reach out to the celebrity [to wear it]. But inspiration from a designer point of view, i dont get inspiration from celebrities. Unfortunately like any designer i have my little limitation which is that i like to design a line, i like to design fashion but i don’t like to wear it, look at me (points to body), i’m being myself i wear always black. It’s almost like my uniform. In the same way i like to design beautiful collections but i dont like to go out and say ”you wear it” because that’s pretentious, if you want you can wear it and we can work together.You can find out more about Valentino and the Improvd collection over at www.improvd.com/