“I was at the Kennedy Center Honors last night so I haven’t slept, so things are gonna get funky,” Anne Hathaway said, on hand yesterday for the launch of the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum at MoMA. “I’m bringing the funk to MoMA!” she enthused. Hathaway looked gorgeous in Valentino and well-rested from my vantage point, but some awkward moments (at one point she said, while on stage, ‘I’d like to invite Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti to invite me to the stage”) seemed to confirm that she hadn’t slept much (and maybe enjoyed some champers, too).
But Hathaway’s kooky emceeing couldn’t detract from the truly groundbreaking work Valentino and his partner Giancarlo Giammetti have achieved in creating a virtual museum that houses and comprehensively breaks down five decades of Valentino’s work. Hathaway called the museum a “revolution” and that she did not believe that word choice was “hyperbolic.” We’re with her there. A quick run down of what you’ll find upon downloading the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum (here’s the link):
- the museum is 10,000 square meters
- a library containing 5,000 images of dresses, photos and drawings and 180 fashion show videos
- 7 different galleries including: the 7-roomed “Themes and Variations” which breaks down Valentino’s work into whites, animal prints, red, embroidery, etc.; and “Very Valentino,” a retrospective from the ’60s to the ’00s
- “A Masterclass with Valentino” in which the design icon talks about creating some of his most famous couture dresses, using Natalia Vodianova as model
The project was the brainchild of Valentino’s longtime partner Giancarlo Giammetti. It was two years in the making, and cost, to quote Giammetti, “a lot of money” (the museum was funded entirely by Garavani and Giammetti). Both Valentino and Giammetti spoke at yesterday’s conference, as did Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani, who noted that celebrities love to wear Valentino and “not because they have been asked.” Amit Sood, the creator of the Google Art Project which is currently bringing real brick and mortar museums to the digital, also spoke, as Google provided technical support. Sood, who admitted he knew very little about Valentino, said he was blown away by the project.
So am I. My lame excuse for posting about the press conference so late is that I started to test out the museum and then the next few hours disappeared. I got sucked into a Valentino rabbit hole. Which I think is a good thing, unless you’re on deadline. It’s a bit tricky to maneuver and I got stuck up against a wall a few times and had weird Myst flashbacks, but overall, this thing is incredible. You can see couture Valentino gowns up close and rotate them 360 degrees. Then you can see sketches of those dresses, videos of the runway show they first appeared on, and images of celebrities and princesses and models wearing those same dresses. And that’s just one room.
So do yourself a favor. After you’ve finished work, take a tour. Or, if you’re really bored at work and hate your job, download the museum now. And then tell me what you think.