The Italian luxury house Valentino is opening the doors this month to its first major exhibition in the Middle East.
Taking place in M7, the cultural hub in Doha, the show, called Forever Valentino, promises to be both a retrospective, looking back at the work of founder Valentino Garavani, and a glimpse into the future, with the unfinished journey of the present creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli.
Since Garavani delivered his first couture collection in 1962 at the Pitti Palace in Florence, his label has been synonymous with dramatic femininity, both flamboyant and elegant, and made largely in red, the colour becoming something of a trademark.
After more than 46 years at the helm, he stepped away in January 2008, passing the baton to the joint partnership of Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri. That collaboration continued until 2016, when Grazia left to join Dior.
Now in sole command, Piccioli has, over the past six years, been shaping Valentino to his own vision, fusing his own sense of romance with a desire to make the company more relevant to today's shifting needs.
Working across both ready-to-wear and haute couture, Piccioli has elevated Valentino to astonishing heights, while still remaining true to the Roman roots of the house.
“Rome: this is where we all belong, and this is where everything starts,” he said.
Now, for the biggest show staged by the company, which was bought by a Qatari group in 2012 for about $857 million, priceless haute couture from across the decades is going on display for the first time in the region.
Described as a "theatrical experience", Forever Valentino will run from October 28 to April 1 at Msheireb Downtown Doha.