This was an intimate journey to discover Rome’s most authentic spirit, visiting sites that have never been open to the public before that showcased the true sources of inspiration for Valentino’s creations. With unknown wonders and secret passageways, we were shown some of Rome’s most cherished treasures while showcasing Valentino’s Haute Couture archive pieces.
In a whirlwind 24 hours, we were off from Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week to Rome for Valentino’s Haute Couture Show. We flew out on a private charter plane from Paris with perhaps the most fashionable crowd and airport attire I’ve ever seen. Moments after checking-in to our hotel, we all boarded small golf carts and began our tour of Rome to discover 10 secret destinations Valentino had hidden around the city with incredible installations of their haute couture archive pieces.
I have only ever been to Rome once before and it was not my favourite city I visited during my first European trip. It was crowded, it was raining, and we waited hours for access to sites and tours. We also didn’t know where to stay so we stayed just outside of the city to save money, which I heard was afterward was a large mistake as you missed the magical feeling being in in the heart of such a vibrant city. To return to Rome with Valentino was surreal, and the entire day we were expressing just how grateful we were to be seeing Rome through Valentino’s eyes – it completely changed my perspective on Rome and I felt like I was only seeing its enchanted beauty and romance for the very first time.
Photographer: Luke Shadbolt