Italian master of fashion Valentino and his long-term partner in business and life Giancarlo Giammeti have unveiled an at once ultra-contemporary and unusual project. On December 5, the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum will open on the World Wide Web – the first museum of its kind in the world.
The designer, who bid farewell to active participation in the fashion world in 2008 with a magnificent retrospective and show at Rome’s Colosseum, says in an interview with WWD: “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’."
As part of the grand project, ‘visitors’ to the new museum will be offered an archive of Valentino’s 50 year career represented by 5000 elements, including outfits, videos, sketches, recordings of fashion shows (95 in total), photographs and various documents related to the history of his dresses. The museum space promises to be the equivalent of 10,000 m2 in physical space – with its halls and rooms rendered in 3D, viewers are guaranteed the feel of a ‘real’ museum visit. Besides, as Giametti declares, such an extravagant architectural project as their computerised vision would not actually be feasible in real life. Among other things, 300 garments will be on display at the museum, including the designer’s most iconic moments – Sophia Loren’s couture frock designed specifically for the premiere of “Spartacus”, the dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy at her wedding to Aristotle Onassis in 1968, Julia Roberts’ 2001 Oscar receiving outfit and many more. Additionally, clicking on each ‘exhibit’ will let viewers not just examine it from 360 degrees – right down to the smallest detail - but also find out about its history. This includes the funny stories and incidents which have befallen the iconic dresses and their equally iconic wearers. The press conference revealing the museum will be broadcast on YouTube on December 5, and for now, a small insight into its scope is given in the short publicity preview viewable here.