Here are few examples of Valentina’s sources of inspiration. Valentina, American couture and the Cult of Celebrity, famous for her extravagant statements, like this one:
“while Mainbocher unquestionably made the Duchess of Windsor look like a lady; for the same price, I could look her like a queen.”
I also have to mention Harold Koda’s foreword to the book about Valentina.
“From a business perspective, her contemporaries Norell and Mainbocher did not even begin to approach her success, and only Chanel can be seen as an equal in her faculty for self-invention and promotion. Finally, a woman who combined the aphoristic wit of Chanel, the technical virtuosity of Vionnet, the dramatic theatricality of Adrian, and the pragmatism of McCardell, is being given her due.”
Jean Fouquet, Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels, showing Charles VII’s mistress Agnès Sorel (c.1450)
Rosalind Russell in Valentina’s dress
Gerard David, “The Annunciation, Detail”