The name Valentino has been synonymous with high fashion for almost fifty years. Based in Rome, Valentino is only one of two couture houses recognized by the French government outside of Paris. His exquisite designs are coveted and worn by young Hollywood and high society the world over. On the occasion of his last couture collection, presented in Paris in the spring of 2008, this landmark book celebrates forty-five years of Valentino's remarkable career. Published in association with a prestigious exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs's famed costume department in Paris, this volume focuses on Valentino's haute couture creations, highlighting the most important and iconic creations of his half-century in fashion through recurring themes in Valentino's work--variations on the ideas of volume, line, and texture as well as motifs such as geometry, pleats, and flowers--through new photography, sketches, fabric samples, and commentary on the dresses by Valentino himself. In addition, unprecedented photography by Francois Halard of Valentino's last fittings and backstage of his runway show reveals Valentino's private world for the first time. Valentino On Valentino, a chapter of first-person accounts of the designs of these iconic dresses, along with Valentino's commentary on his fashion, will make this publication unique in the study of Valentino as a cultural and artistic icon.