COUTURE DE FORCE
A virtual museum from a fashion legend
If you made it to New York for the Alexander McQueen "Savage Beauty" show, then you know just how high-art a fashion exhibit can be. But if you'd rather not leave your city (or, for that matter, your living room) for the next big designer retrospective, we've got good news: The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, which opened its digital doors this week.
Using the same experiential technology as the Google Art Project, the prolific and recently retired designer presents some 50 years' worth of his incredible couture via a free, interactive archive that visitors can "walk" through with their mouse and explore at their own pace and discretion.
The virtual museum has the look and feel of an actual exhibition--think bright, open galleries devoted to various Valentino periods and themes--and the offerings include interviews, sketches, fashion-show videos and more than 5,000 dresses, all of which you can view up-close in 3-D and click on for context and craftsmanship details.
We particularly like ogling the designer's many celebrity creations--Elizabeth Taylor's Spartacus dress, Jackie Kennedy's toga evening gown, Julia Roberts's 2001 Oscar look--that we'd never otherwise get a chance to see in such detail.