THE STYLE EDIT
VALENTINO’S PASSION FOR PERFECTION
The Emperor Shares the How-to’s of Hosting Imperially Extravagant Events
In a magnificent and majestic Château built on the grounds of Wideville, when the dinner table sets, it doesn’t matter whether it is to serve one or one hundred. In the midst of walls adorned with masterpieces of Picasso, Basquiat, and Warhol, there is a lavish table festooned with fine china, sparkling, crystal, scented candles, artistically folded napkins, and food carefully prepared and masterfully presented. That is how the uncrowned king of the fashion universe dines.
Valentino Garavani is one of the most recognizable names in fashion. Known for his classy creations, impeccable attention to detail and immaculate blend of colors, Valentino has a well-deserved attention to detail and immaculate blend of colors, and has a well-deserved reputation for creating beauty. He is also one of the most amazing hosts of our time, and his parties are star-studded affair with celebrities and famous people coming in from all over the world. Like a resplendent gown created for the coronation of a queen, Valentino’s events are laced with elegance, class, grace and delicacy.
The table décor showcased in the picture is magnificently defines Valentino’s concept of elegance, sophistication and luxuriousness.
Unlike his contemporaries, Valentino doesn’t just throw a party; he designs events. Luncheons of dinners, his table is nothing short of being called the chef-d’oeuvre. After four decades of creating such masterpieces, Valentino now reveals the secret of his private hosting success in his stunning monograph aptly titled ‘At the Emperor’s Table’.
Published by Assouline, the book was launched in late 2014. It is a complete guide to creating a perfect event complete with designer’s favorite recipes, table settings, and not to forget etiquettes. Praising Valentino’s capabilities in this regard, Andre Leon Tally, a close friend and regular guest, writes in his introduction, “Valentino Garavani designs his luncheons and dinners the way he has created crescendos and allegros vivace throughout his forty-plus-year career as one of the greatest haute couture designers and high-fashion leaders in the world.”
The 192-page book, complete with 80 stunning illustrations, is an invitation to Valentino’s world of refined taste, classy etiquette and exceptional beauty. One can learn a lot from the last emperor of our time.
The Lost Arte De Vivre
The world is learning about Valentino’s love for lavish lifestyle and hospitality not for the first time. He was the subject of a documentary entitled ‘The Last Emperor’ back in 2008. The documentary focused on the lost art of creating beautiful events with exciting tables, and what it truly meant to dine like a king. The book, however, is more focused on how Valentino, our last emperor, is preserving the lifestyle with his elaborate table settings and exclusive designed meals. The book is a compilation of Valentino’s views and tips on why and how the lifestyle needs to be preserved. For an elaborate and extravagant table is a sign of respect and honor for the guests. It should be able to create excitement, joy, and memories the guests and hosts share and experience together. By blending in contemporary with simplicity, Valentino teaches how you can create amazing tablescapes like the one you see in the picture. Delicate pieces of crockery, neatly rolled napkins and simple cutlery on a simple wooden table is giving this table décor a beautiful look.
Stunning Tablescape: Epitome of Luxury and Elegance
“A beautiful, interesting table is an expression of a joy and respect for your guests, or just yourself. Even when I eat alone, I always have the table set in an amusing way,” says Valentino. Apparently, Valentino’s number one rule to lavish living is to consider oneself as important as any other guest. So, for him, it really doesn’t matter if he is entertaining a dozen or eating all by himself. Everything has to be perfect no matter where and to whom it is served.
Being Italian, Valentino loves breakfast, and his meal planning starts as soon as he opens his eyes in his bedroom. He starts his day by providing Jonathan, his chef, detailed instructions regarding the meals of the day, the tableware, and the linens to be used. The textures, the colors, the plates, the cutlery, the candles the centerpieces, and of course, the menu; Valentino doesn’t miss a single detail when it comes to food.
Luxurious appeal isn’t that hard to achieve, instructs Valentino in his book. By paying attention to detail, and by using the right fixtures, textures and accessories, you can create a look, like the one displayed in the picture – a look that speaks elegance. The addition of candles statement accessories and fine crockery is blending in beautifully in this dining theme.
From creating luxurious dining themes to simple tablescapes using minimal accessories, Valentino explains how you can create different themes using the right fixtures, furnishings and crockery. The fresh, lively theme portrayed in this picture proves how easy it is to create almost any theme you like. Crystal glasses with a hint of green, flower shaped accessories, gold cutlery and statement accessories is creating a magnificent effect in this theme.
Adding rich colors to your dining room design will help you create a magnificent feel. Overall, the addition of colors can give a striking touch to your dining design. To magnify the extravagant look, don’t forget to add crystal ornaments.
The Element of Aesthetics
“Valentino is an admirer of beauty and great aesthetic. According to the emperor himself, beautiful things have always followed him, but it is quite evident that whenever he is unable to find something that fits his definition of beauty he creates one. “I was the only little boy in Voghera who went to a shoemaker to have his shoes custom-made,” he said in an interview.
According to Valentino, the book is not just about lavish menu, elaborate table settings, high-end tableware or an illustrious guest-list; it is, in fact, about all the beauty and elegance of things that truly touch his heart. The private events he creates are his way of sharing that experience with his guests.
“Elegance is the balance between proportion, emotion, and surprise”
Amazing dining spaces can be created anywhere you like, in your backyard, outdoors or your home. The modern theme portrayed in this picture is created by using minimal accessories and modern glassware and crockery perfectly arranged on a sleek, wood table.
A Healthy Menu & a Table Setting that Makes a Statement
“When sharing his opinion about creating a perfect dinner or lunch party, Valentino doesn’t leave out the most important element – the menu. The book was initially supposed to be a complete recipe book before Valentino decided to make it a more elaborate account of the overall experience he considers essential to his love for fine food. However, there are still a plethora of recipes directly from Valentino’s kitchen. Valentino loves diversity, but one thing remains the same about all his culinary choices – they are healthy and balanced. “[My food] is always very light,” he says. He personally ensures the ingredients are authentic and organic. It comes as no surprise that the Italian designer is a pasta lover. However, he strictly opts for pasta made with kamut i.e. a much healthier option as compared to regular pasta.
Adding hints of color in your dining theme can instantly turn a boring dining theme into a colorful space where you can enjoy your food with your loved ones. Contemporary pieces of cutlery, glassware, crystal accessories and colorful, flowery crockery used in the dining theme (displayed in the picture), is overall creating a vibrant appeal – one that is hard to miss.
Etiquettes are Essential
“Valentino is not very appreciative of the modern mannerism of hosts and guests these days. It is, by Valentino’s regal standards, a bit too informal. Pure perfectionist by nature, he likes the traditional light formality observed by everyone at the table. It helps preserve the environment and experience he yearns to create for his guests, and of course, himself.
“There is a code of light formality in England today,” he admits, “It is something the modern world forgets. Codes and rules of etiquette gave your life a structure and balance.”
Photographed by Oberto Gili, ‘At the Emperor’s table’ contains photos of some of the most monumental Valentino dinner tables over the past four decades. It is a wonderful guide for those who appreciate beauty and wish to continue the true tradition of hosting elegant events with elaborate table settings.
Learn from the Legend – Set the perfect table, the menu and ambiance for a Luxurious Dining Experience!
Valentino’s fancy illustrated book is not just a window into his lavish lifestyle but a valuable lesson for those who wish to learn the art of interior designer like a true master. The book is a compilation of ideas and inspiration to keep table setting and design as classy as it once used to be. While the art is lost in time, there are still masters like Valentino and brands like maisondopulence that strive to keep it alive.
If you share the passion, you can find a fine assortment of sophisticated and luxury interior décor and tableware at maisondopulence.
From a collection of luxury DESIGNER brands: Arthur Price, Spode, Gurasu and more, get the finest crystals, silverware, glasses and extravagant centrepieces for a table setting that speaks elegance.