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Valentino updates virtual museum, launches in-browser

You may remember Valentino launched a virtual museum in December 2011. Designed as a downloadable desktop app, it was met with somewhat lukewarm reception in terms of its design and more importantly, its technical ability.

It’s great to hear therefore, the team has launched a browser verison. At www.valentinogaravanimuseum.com, users can now explore the archives of the designer within their internet journey. There are still a couple of hoops to jump, such as downloading a plug-in, but the overall result is simpler, more appealing and should help up traffic.

At the original launch last year, Valentino Garavani’s business partner Giancarlo Giammetti spoke about keeping the virtual concept exciting by staying abreast of technological change. He also promised frequent content updates to the museum, including new drawings and videos.

That is finally happening with the web browser launch too. Two new videos have been added: one from Valentino’s collaboration with the New York City Ballet (as below), and the other of the recent presentation of his Commandeur de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in Paris. Hopefully there’ll be more to follow.

The site also has a dedicated homepage (before the plug-in) featuring news, pics of the week and an ‘In the Press’ section – nice for SEO and further suggestive of more regular content updates.

Offline, Valentino’s couture archive specifically is the subject of a new exhibition at Somerset House in London, opening this Thursday, November 29.

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Virtual Valentino museum opens, sets the bar for digital designer archives

Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti

The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum launched today, and is well worth a look.

As reported last month, it showcases five decades of the designer’s fashion history in an immersive 3-D experience; 300 dresses, 5000 images, 100 show videos, all in an equivalent real-world space of 10,000sq m.

Although officially retired from Valentino ‘the brand’, Valentino Garavani and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti (pictured above) have been working on it for the past two years.

Speaking at a press conference in New York this morning (watch on YouTube), the duo explained that the aim was to showcase the work of a “life dedicated to beauty”, and make it accessible to as many people as possible.

It’s a particularly interesting move for a traditionally non tech-savvy brand (Giammetti joked at Valentino’s inability to even turn the television on).

“It all started with where to keep the enormous amount of things we’ve collected for nearly 50 years,” said Giammetti. “How to make it available to everyone that wants to see it; and how to make it exciting year after year without things becoming dusty or obsolete. Why not then use modern technology… where everyone can move with just a click.”

Albeit in essence a legacy space, Giammetti was quick to highlight that the work continues tomorrow; both in terms of keeping up with technological change, and providing fresh content.

Indeed to encourage return visitors, there will be frequent updates to the museum, be it additional rooms, new drawings and ideas – as suggested by Valentino – or video insights from the likes of Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue who also spoke this morning.

Giammetti pointed out that the museum was funded by themselves and has no sponsors. For them, the numbers are irrelevant, he said. The app is free to download in anycase.

Nonetheless, it will be intriguing to see how it actually does. The McQueen exhibition at the Met was one of the Costume Institute’s most successful of all time; if you were interested in fashion – indeed even if you weren’t – it proved a must-see on the New York calendar this year. Could an online museum ever have the same pulling power?

But perhaps that’s irrelevant. What counts is that Valentino is advancing the fashion industry. While digital destinations to accompany exhibitions have been played with for a few years, virtual archive museums in their entirety are now likely to become increasingly commonplace.

Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway, who hosted the press conference, explained how Valentino and Giammetti together helped shape the industry in the 1960s. “Now, they’re repeating that inspiration,” she said, “setting the bar for other fashion brands around the world.”

I agree.

See below for a virtual tour of the museum, as well as a number of pictures from within it… 

 

The museum entrance
The Red Room
The White Room
The Print and Pastels Room
The Animal Print Room
The Embroidery Room
The image library
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Valentino to launch virtual archive museum

Valentino is set to launch a virtual museum that will showcase five decades of the designer’s fashion history in an immersive 3-D experience.

A downloadable desktop application connected to an online database, it captures over 300 dresses from the Valentino archive, organised by theme.

Users can explore different galleries and wings that would likely cover over 10,000sq m in an actual museum. There are also sketches, illustrations, advertising campaigns and red carpet as well as event photos accompanying each dress.

Photos and videos celebrate the special events and exhibitions from Valentino Garavani and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti’s history, from the 1968 White Collection to the 2011 White Fairy Tale Love Ball. And there’s a media library cataloguing more than 5000 images including dresses, photos, drawings and 95 show videos.

A short video introduction has just launched (as below), while users are currently being invited to register their email addresses on the site to keep up with news on the December 5 launch.

A social media campaign has also kicked off across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The museum has been created by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, with support from Valentino SpA. It was designed and produced by Novacom Associes in Paris, in collaboration with Kinmonth-Monfreda Design Project in London.