An Architect of Dress.
A leading member of haute couture, Valentina considered herself an aichitect of dress. Claiming inspitation from Grecian architecture, she used fabrics to accentuate their textures, shadows, and high-lights in order to create the desired architectural effect. "Color," she once explained, "should never be obvious, static, or flat" but rather should move and flow. Commentators agreed that she achieved dramatic effects in her gowns without, as one put it, "resorting to extreme cuts."
She was born Valentina Sanina in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1904 to a wealthy family. Her education at the school of dramatic arts in Kiev was interrupted by the Russian Revolution in 1917, in which her mother and brother were killed. At fifteen she fled alone to the Crimean peninsula, carrying only the family's jewels. Two years later she married and immigrated to Athens, where the couple...
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