As Qatar prepares to host the FIFA World Cup in November, with all the football madness that entails, there are still happenings and festivals around Doha that cater to art, culture and fashion.
One such event is the exhibition "Forever Valentino". A collaboration between Qatar Creates, Qatar Museums and the Maison Valentino, “Forever Valentino” is a major retrospective exhibition that pays homage to the Maison's founder Valentino Garavani and the still-unfolding heritage of Haute Couture excellence Valentino is known for. Held inside the M7 space, the design and innovation hub located in Msheireb Downtown Doha which in the past has housed other great fashion retrospectives like Christian Dior Designer of Dreams in 2021, "Forever Valentino" will be on view from 28 October 2022 to 1 April 2023.
The exhibition coincides with Valentino Garavani’s 90th birthday and the unveiling of the Valentino Autumn/Winter 2022/23 Haute Couture collection in the heart of Rome, which was held back in July. It is conceived as a vast panoramic view of the history of the Maison, embedded in scenography evoking the Eternal City, which has been Valentino’s home since its foundation in 1959.
Featuring over 200 Valentino Haute Couture pieces, as well as pret-à-porter outfits and accompanied by accessories and fashion objects displayed in an immersive setting, the exhibition weaves a richly textured image of the city of Rome, which has been an inspiration at the heart of the Maison, both for Valentino himself as well as for its current Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli.
In a recent interview on the exhibition for Vogue magazine, Piccioli confirmed “I think that being a Roman couture house is what makes Valentino so special, unique," and went on to add that "Roma has a big influence on my work.”
Along with the beautiful clothing, there are private memories and precious discoveries from the Maison’s six decades-long history included in the exhibit, 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.
In fact, it is this ongoing cycle of looking to the past of fashion, to find inspiration for its future that makes the exhibition a must-see for all who have ever pondered those famous last words "does this make me look good?" If we were to think of a perfect afternoon, it would start with a visit of the exhibition at M7, along with a viewing of Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris later in the evening -- the film which is now playing at Vox cinemas in Doha.
"Forever Valentino" is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, who is the artistic director of the New Museum New York, and the fashion critic and author Alexander Fury, working closely with Valentino's Creative Director Piccioli.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, check out the M7 website.