Valentino Garavani may have officially retired back in 2008 from the legendary fashion house that bears his name, but he has still been busy designing. His latest offering, the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, is an interactive museum filled to the digital brim with sketches, fashion show videos, editorial as well as advertising campaigns and even master classes taught by the designer. If housed in a traditional museum setting, it's estimated that all this content would occupy several wings and more than 10,000 square feet.
The extensive and ambitious undertaking has been the project of Valentino and longtime collaborator, Giancarlo Giammetti for several years in the hopes of establishing a sort of living history for the brand. Now the downloadable desktop application is available for both Mac and PC, so the fashion faithful can access Valentino's archives which includes more than 5,000 documents and close to 100 videos with new interactive concepts unveiled every eight weeks. There's also a bonafide celebrity aspect to the museum with 3-D 360 degree displays of several gowns featuring commentary on each creation's intricate construction and a lesson on who wore it first. Revisit the black and white gown Julia Roberts donned for the 2001 Oscars or marvel at Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding gown from 1968 when she married Aristotle Onassis.
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Valentino has always had a legacy of outfitting stars, so it was only fitting that several big name celebrities came out last week to fete the launch of this new digital showcase in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker made sure to attend the historic event even though she also had her premiere for New Year's Eve the very same night. She wore a vintage printed Pauline Trigère three-quarter sleeve embellished chiffon dress paired with neutral Manolo Blahnik pumps, a Judith Leiber clutch and Fred Leighton jewelry. Claire Danes was decked out in this Valentino Spring 2012 lace dress in the brand's signature red color complemented by gems from Melinda Maria and Kara Ackerman Designs.
Olivia Palermo rocked a black sequin Marchesa cowl back mini, which was wisely combined with Valentino accessories like that snakeskin clutch and nude studded pumps. Rachel Zoe went with vintage Valentino accented by a black fur shrug and oversized coordinating clutch.
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Model Izabel Goulart was a vision in a navy tulle gown, while socialite Daphne Guinness worked a futuristic Goth look that really made her stand out from the glamorous crowd. Anne Hathaway, Courtney Love, China Chow, and Hugh Jackman also attended the virtual showcase.