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Anne Hathaway Joins Valentino Garavani to Unveil His Crazy-Awesome Virtual Museum

Last month we told you about the brand-new Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, a first-of-its-kind digital fashion experience meant to introduce the legendary couturier's body of work to a larger audience. Chock-full of 3D effects, runway videos, sketches and multi-angle close-ups of every famous Valentino gown ever worn, it's a must-see for the fashion-obsessed.

To celebrate the free app's worldwide availability—all you have to do is click here and download it to your desktop, really!—Garavani and partner Giancarlo Giammetti invited journalists (and more than a few young-looking students) to NYC's Museum of Modern Art for a press conference.

On hand to host was newly-engaged Valentino fan Anne Hathaway, who warned guests straightaway that she'd arrived via overnight train from Washington, D.C. and hadn't slept for the past 24 hours. "So things are gonna get a little freaky," she giggled. Looking luminous, nonetheless, in a nude embroidered Valentino dress, Anne shared a few words about the man of the hour. "[Valentino] changed the world, giving us all a more beautiful, dream version of ourselves to hope for." If praise like that doesn't suggest that Valentino's designing Anne's wedding dress.....

Garavani explained that he was first intrigued by the accessibility of the project: that anyone, no matter their location, age or financial situation, could click their way to a 360-degree view of any of his couture creations within the cyber-gallery. (PS—his tech partner in this whole thing is Google.) 

Giammetti, who Hathaway introduced as "the coolest, freshest dude in the room,"  admitted that after 50 years, Valentino's physical archives of delicate gowns had so grown to the point of chaos that they needed to be streamlined and organized—and the digital world seemed the perfect opportunity to do so. "We wanted to create an idea space without limits," he said. In keeping with the no-boundaries notion, he and Valentino chose to install latticed skylights in each gallery within the virtual museum, through which the blue, cloudy sky of Rome can be seen.

Giammetti also assured the audience that the application will continue to evolve as more rooms and features are steadily added, and that the museum's download will remain free of charge. "This cost a lot of money to create," he said, "but we knew from the start that nobody should have to pay to download the application itself." And though the project thwarts the concept of revenue via online subscriptions, he said, "to enjoy what we've done...that's the real measure of success."

The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum is now available for download at valentino-garavani-archives.org.

All photos courtesy of Valentino.

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