The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum goes live on December 5. The site, which you can currently preview, will include 300 iconic dresses from over 50 years of Valentino's career as a designer, including Julia Roberts's 2001 Oscars look and Jacqueline Kennedy's couture wedding dress, among others, all showcased in 3-D, animated galleries alongside sketches and design notes. The museum will also include an extensive media library of the fashion house's illustrations, ad campaigns, editorials, red carpet images, and 95 fashion show videos. Should the contents be physically displayed somewhere, 107,500 square feet of space would be needed.
Valentino's decision to showcase his archive online opens it up to a much wider audience, who can view it at their convenience. The designer aims not to compromise on the museum experience though, with the site designed to replicate a real gallery visit. Its content is even grouped into virtual rooms and wings. According to Valentino's longtime business partner and collaborator on this new venture, Giancarlo Giammetti, the site even comes with "spaces [contained within the site] leading off the sunlit courtyards under the Roman sky" — meant to evoke Italy, Rome specifically, as Valentino's "epicenter."
Says Valentino of the project, “I see it as part of my legacy ... I am happy that thousands of students, young designers and fashion people will be able to see and study my work in every aspect of it, and in a manner easy and accessible for the younger generations. But it is also important to remember things of the past, to review the fashion that has shaped our lives. I would call it ‘Future Memory.’”