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THE EMPEROR CHATS: Continuing his publicity blitz for “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary on the designer’s career and final collection, Valentino stopped by “The Martha Stewart Show” on Tuesday to talk up the film with Stewart, who has been a friend since the pair met at a New York party a decade ago. “We both love gardens, fashion, pets (especially dogs) and great beauty,” she e-mailed before the show, which airs Friday.
Indeed, the duo discussed dogs (“I always have a big passion for pugs,” Valentino said), and the designer’s American introduction: “Jackie Kennedy made me famous in the United States,” he told Stewart. “She was really the most important woman in my life.” While Valentino mentioned on the show that his plans to design the costumes for the Moscow Opera’s 2010 production of “La Traviata” have been postponed due to a lack of funding, afterward he shot down rumors that he had a hand in his namesake line’s recent collection. “No, not at all,” he said. “Very far from the truth. I don’t think about it. I wish my assistants to do the best. It’s a big job, though, and to know my name goes on the designs, I want them to do the best.” In fact, the economy has left him somewhat relieved to be out of the game. “Sometimes I am very egoist, and I am very glad that I left when I did,” he said. “To see the buyers, they love your things but they don’t buy, that would be very hard.” His advice to young designers who are still working? “Continue to do beautiful things,” Valentino said. “I don’t know if I would tell them to be careful. People are very down, so cheer up people with something beautiful.”