• Giancarlo Giammetti, left, and Valentino
  • Andy Warhol and Elton John at Club Sept, Paris, in the Seventies
  • Giancarlo, left, on vacation with Valentino, St. Tropez, 1963
There are fictional escapes where you curl up with a good novel and then there are fashion escapes where you… curl up with a good fashion book. Giancarlo Giammetti’s memoir Private by Assouline is firmly the latter. As Valentino’s longtime business partner recounts his life — from his early days in Rome to a chance meeting with the designer — you’re transported to a very dolce vita life, where you pal around with Andy Warhol, dance cheek to cheek with Marisa Berenson and call everyone from Jackie O and Elizabeth Taylor to Madonna and Sophia Loren your extended family. Che meraviglioso, no?

All photographs courtesy of Assouline