On with the show Even though he retired five years ago, Valentino’s timelessly elegant designs haven’t been forgotten. Now a new exhibition entitled “Valentino: Master of Couture” at London’s Somerset House will showcase the work of Valentino Garavani. More than 130 rare haute couture commissions designed by the maestro from as early as the 1950s, as well as personal photographs and keepsakes, are on show. The dresses have been worn by fashion icons such as Jackie O, Grace Kelly, and Julia Roberts and includes the Crown Princess of Greece Marie-Chantal’s lace wedding gown. As Valentino says himself: “Each of these designs has a beautiful story.” This exhibition comes on the heels of the 2008 documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor. From Nov 29 until March 3, 2013, somersethouse.org.uk 
A fine line “I’m from the generation that came to New York to meet their idols. In my case it was Andy Warhol and Antonio Lopez,” writes designer Anna Sui (Purple Reign ) in the epilogue to the long-awaited volume Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex and Disco, the first complete monograph of the Puerto Rican artist’s work since his death in 1987. Lopez was a legendary fashion illustrator during the 1960s and ‘70s hey-day of New York City. He has been featured in publications from Vogue to The New York Times and has worked with fashion powerhouses such as Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. He is credited with discovering actress Jessica Lange and model Jerry Hall, with whom he lived in Paris during the 1970s, and also Grace Jones. His illustrations were revolutionary, as they introduced a youthful, liberated energy to fashion and subverted some of haute couture’s stuffy formality. The book contains a large number of illustrations, paintings, photographs, and excerpts from his personal journals. With an introduction by ex-US Vogue editor André Leon Talley, and contributions from photographer Bill Cunningham, the reader gains a deep understanding of Lopez and his influence on the fashion industry. amazon.com 
Making scents Its dressed the most glamorous women in the world and now the house of Marchesa is preparing to bottle its glitz and glamour. Since it launched in 2004, Marchesa has been a regular on the red carpet so it makes sense to enter the fragrance world with Parfume d’Extase, to be launched this month. Created by Annie Buzantian, it combines iris, freesias, violets and jasmine with ambrox and musk and is presented in a crystal flacon banded with hand-set crystal accents resembling a bow. The inspiration was a collection of recently launched handbags with crystals.
Sweet Oriental La Perla’s new A/W 2012 collection of coveted lingerie carries the theme “Oriental Suite”, merging East and West, silk and lace. The campaign features seductive garments of sheer lace and tulle, infused with the exotic grace of the geisha, kimonos, obi belts and lacquered fans, but reinterpreted with an Italian elegance. The Orient inspired the colour palette with shades from baby nude, china blue to a deep crimson, paired seamlessly with black and gray with stylized floral and bamboo designs. The undergarments, which also come with silky robes, reminiscent of ceremonial kimonos, are simple and sensuous. The collection is now available in Hong Kong. laperla.com