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Pentagram’s Valentina: Classic Fashion

March 10, 2009

Valentina at MCNY

Valentina Book

Valentina at MCNY

The Muesum of the City of New York teamed with Pentagram’s Abbott Miller to create the new exhibition Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity. Miller’s design for the exhibition takes as its inspiration the beauty of the diagonals and verticals in the letterforms of Valentina’s name, as well as in her structurally innovative creations. 

Her famous quote ““Fit the century, forget the year.” exudes classic design. Her striking lines cut to the heart of minimalism and timeless elegance. 

Valentina was a Russian émigré who came to America to be an actress. She gained less notoriety for her acting ability than for her unique sense of style. As a couturier she was an iconoclast, using materials in unexpected ways and in unusual constructions—creating dresses built around one seam, for example—and mixing historical references in her work. Valentina was an enormously talented designer who used her phenomenal success to build an unusual mystique around her life and her work. She chose her clients, refusing to dress women she deemed inappropriate or unworthy, and clients included the most famous women of her time: Katharine Hepburn, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, and most importantly, Greta Garbo, with whom Valentina was suggestively close.  (source: Pentragram)

Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity remains on view at the Museum of the City of New York through May 17. Project Team: Abbott Miller, Brian Raby, exhibition design; Susan Brzozowski, graphics. Exhibition photos by Harry Zernike.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Pam Gainor permalink
    March 27, 2009 9:12 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how some designers transcend time. Valentina’s clothes could make heads turn on 5th Ave today.

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