A catfight has broken out between the designers Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino as the doyen of Italian fashion prepared today to present his final collection in Paris before retirement.
Valentino wave’s goodbye to his staggering career but not before stirring up design rivals Dolce & Gabbana
Valentino Garavani was reflecting on his 50-year career and on his rivals when he dismissed Dolce & Gabbana as “shy to begin with, but now rather arrogant”. The 76-year-old added: “The problem with young stylists is that they all want to be famous straight away and then they all do the same things.” Valentino’s comments appear to have touched a raw nerve, especially as he only had superlative praise for other Italian designers.
He went on to describe Giorgio Armani as “revolutionary”, Miuccia Prada as “stupefying” and Donatella Versace as “gritty and determined”. In return, Mr Armani sent a vibrant red dress down his recent catwalk show in tribute to “the genius of Valentino”, who made red dresses his trademark.
Stefano Gabbana, 46, one half of the label that now has an annual turnover of over £700 million, said: “Valentino has been having goodbye parties since last July. I’ve been working.” He added: “To be quite honest, I don’t care what Valentino says about us.”
Valentino has held a lavish series of events to mark his retirement, including a party in Rome’s Imperial Forum which rebuilt an ancient temple out of plastic resin and an exhibition at the Ara Pacis museum.
Mr Gabbana also dismissed rumours that Naomi Campbell, the supermodel, is having an affair with Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. Ms Campbell recently interviewed Mr Chavez, and the Venezuelan press was quick to announce that the pair had got engaged. “I do not think he is her type, or vice versa,” said Mr Gabbana. “They have different tastes.”