You've probably heard that retired couturier Valentino Garavani (b. 1932) will soon launch a virtual museum showcasing highlights from his five decades in fashion. Slated to launch on December 5, the virtual museum will use 3-D technology to create a palazzo with a series of galleries dedicated to garments, images, videos and more. A short promotional video describing The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum can be seen here.
Many designers keep archives of their designs, sketches, press clippings and other documentation. In some cases, garments or images pulled from these archives will eventually surface in a publication or a museum exhibition. But for the most part, these archives serve only as an in-house resource or a reservoir of primary source material for the outside researcher. Some designers, including Claire McCardell, Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli, made a conscious attempt to document their contributions to fashion by authoring biographies. Until Valentino, however, no individual couturier has comprehensively approached the preservation of his or her legacy. It will be fascinating to see how Valentino presents his extensive career and which garments he chooses to highlight when his virtual museum is open for viewing!