Veruschka & Rubartelli
The defining trend on the Fall 2015 runways was a late sixties/early seventies boho look. Flares! Fringe! Tons of print! Those clothes are making their way into stores now, so you can expect to be seeing versions of that modern bohemian look on the street. But if you want to witness it in its choicest original form, seek no further than Franco Rubartelli’s photos of Veruschka in Valentino, taken in the late 1960s. Rubartelli and Veruschka were living together in a loft in Rome at the time—they were Italy’s answer to David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton, the sexy, jetsetting high fashion photographer and his goddess-like muse, and then-US Vogue editor Diana Vreeland gave the couple carte blanche to conceive fashion shoots for the magazine. Vreeland knew what she was doing: The editorials Rubartelli shot of Veruschka wearing Valentino couture number among the most iconic of the era. More than a few current designers had them stapled to their mood boards for Fall ’15.
A few highlights from the Rubartelli/Veruschka oeuvre: Veruschka, in a tiger-striped coat and flares from Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 1967, posing in an alley Rome as two small boys hang out nearby; Veruschka, on a rooftop in Rome, resplendent in a giant polka-dotted pantsuit from Valentino’s Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1967 collection. Best of all, perhaps, is Rubartelli’s shot of Veruschka for Linea Italiana, wearing a coral-colored fringed cape top and white, wide leg pants with multiple tiers of flounces, a look from Valentino’s Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1969 collection. What an ensemble! Of course, it helped to be 6’1, as the Amazonian Veruschka was, to pull such a high-impact outfit off.
Rubartelli and Veruschka – still a tall drink of water today, at age 75 – went on to make films together, and then, eventually, they broke up. But the work they created together endures—and their pictures featuring Valentino’s haute couture clothes are among the duo’s most immortal collaborations.