Thursday, November 29, 2012

Valentino Goes To The Theater

"What disturbed me a lot, I can tell you, is when I go to the theatre in New York or London – less in France or in Italy – but the other night in New York I went to see, I don't remember which piece of theatre or music, but 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 –not very clean. And a Bermuda short and a flip-flop on the foot."         --Valentino Garavani, November 2012 
The quote above is from an amusing interview with the legendary Valentino in the Guardian. The journalist, Decca Aitkenhead, is not a fashion person and has a different perspective (and very little reverence) of the designer and his work. She asks some good questions, Valentino manages to ignore them, but she still managed to get some good quotes. I heartily agree with the one above, though I often suspect that the offending theater goers are actually tourists and not anyone from the Tri-State area. I'd also like to see better footwear in restaurants. It's a matter of respect-- for the people preparing and serving your food, as well as for those unfortunate enough to see your Crocs, ratty flip-flops and the neglected hooves in them.

Of course,Valentino's grasp on reality is not the best:
" know you are English, you must know, that many many people do the Saturday evening in tuxedo and gown."
Did he watch too much Downton Abbey? Still, the interview is a good read and Valentino has got a point at least about this issue, even if one wants to smack him upside the head with a shoe at times.

What do you think?

Photo: Valentino in NYC, 1984 from NewYork NewYork, photographs by Harry Benson.


  1. A friend who worked in the costume department of a major New York theatre organization once told me, that she did not care what people wear to the theatre, as long as they support the theatre by buying tickets and attending.
    I tend to be of the dress up sort, but on at least one occasion, when my plans for a ball game were rained out, I went to see a play in my "fan" clothes.
    And yes, tourists in New York will sometimes have to make do with whatever clothes they packed. If it wasn't for tourists, there would be no Broadway since New Yorkers can not afford the ticket prices to see shows on a weekly or even monthly basis. Tourists buy enough tickets to keep the industry afloat.

  2. Priceless!! Thanks for this link, Gaia! ~~nozknoz

  3. While I agree that it's an occasion to dress up for and people in shorts are not the most pleasant sight, I find it rather typical that he neglects to even try and remember if it was a piece of theatre, a concert or something else (let alone its title). I understand he probably attends many such events, but this only goes to prove that he apparently doesn't care that much about the art itself. For him it's just another fancy do where he can glamorously prance and clutch his imaginary pearls over the flip-flopped folk. When I see someone inappropriately dressed in theatre, I'm not appalled, just slightly amused.

  4. Preach it, brother! I was on a tear the other day about people in public wearing ill-fitting, over-revealing clothing. If I have to see one more muffin top bum when I'm just trying to run errands...

  5. I'd have to agree with him about the theater crowd. Dress up for goodness' sake people, it's the ballet, opera or whatnot, not the Jersey Shore! It's not that I get offended seeing someone in a tracksuit at the ballet, I just feel sad that people have reduced what was elegant (and still is) to the level of sitting around in your living room. I can't excuse tourists 100%, when I go on vacation I pack 1 nice outfit for just such an occasion. You're going to something special, not to the movies. :)

  6. Maybe he was thinking of that scene in The Great Muppet Caper where a john Cleese and his movie wife are dressed to the nines, just for dinner at home.

  7. I tend to be in the slightly overdressed camp, but this kind of snobbery is not attractive on anyone. Theater started as entertainment for the masses, after all. All should be welcome.


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