Valentino Garavani didn't like his biopic 'Valentino: The Last Emperor' at first.

The iconic designer, who featured in the 2008 film, produced and directed by Matt Tyrnaue, admits he felt embarrassed by his ''hysterical'' on-screen behaviour after the debut showing but later changed his mind.

Speaking during the VOGUE Festival, he said: ''I didn't realise that I'd have someone behind me [filming] for two and a half years.

''When it was first shown to me I didn't like it, but it was too late. I'm always very reserved and I didn't like that they showed me as hysterical and screaming.

''It premiered at Venice Film Festival, and afterwards there was a 10-minute standing ovation for me ... after that I changed my mind a little bit.''

The 81-year-old designer also spoke about his earlier years when he travelled to Spain and was inspired by opera.

He said: ''There were so many women dressed in red, and I decided that it was my lucky colour. Mine is a special red with orange inside.

''A woman must decide whether she wants to look okay or whether she wants to look too much. I prefer it when a woman wears an enormous skirt, a beautiful blouse with simple shoes, rather than a dress that that is too much and not elegant. A dress has to live, it can't be wooden.''

The Italian star made his name in the 1950s but doesn't like the styles associated with that time, describing the outfits of the era as ''too dolly, extremely short with balloon dresses'', adding that the 1980s were simply ''vulgar''.

Valentino also admitted he is ''surprised'' by how much he has achieved throughout his career and the legacy he has created.

He added: ''I'm very proud, but not just because of the clothes I've created. I did lots of work with joy and with all my heart. I did my best and tried to please everyone.

''My advice to you all would be to believe, to appreciate what life gives you and try to be optimistic and just to be happy.''