Designer Valentino Caravani and his longtime partner Giancarlo Giammetti officially launched the Valentino Virtual Museum at the Museum of Modern Art in New York Monday. And who hosted the grand opening but his most fervent fashion fan, Anne Hathaway, who wears the designer's duds at almost every red carpet event. She probably even has a Valentino-designed bathrobe and slippers.
A sleep deprived Hathaway flew in from the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. "A few weeks ago Giancarlo and Valentino asked me to be godmother of this event," she told the audience that included Franca Sozzani, Eric Wilson, Fashion Institute of Technology's Valerie Steele, and dozens of star-struck FIT students.
"I told them that due to conflicts there was absolutely no way. They persisted and tracked me down and explained to me what this was all about. Once I understood, I knew there was absolutely nothing that would keep me from being here today. Today we are witnessing the birth of a revolution and I do not believe that word is hyperbolic. This will change art, the art world and how we experience art forever."
Wow. High praise. Heres your chance to see the new virtual museum. Wanna bet the newly engaged actress gets a nice wedding gown for those remarks? Another surprise guest was Hugh Jackman, described as "a dear friend of the Valentino family." Does he wear Valentino too? He will now. Even if its only vintage or perhaps even specially made by the designer who just can't seem to slow down.
Not that Valentino -- officially retired since 2007 and replaced by Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri (to mixed reviews) in 2008 --
is feeling competitive. But the late Alexander McQueen's temporary historical retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum's got nothing on the big V's 10,000 square meters of permanent virtual space. Valentino's archive can be digitally viewed. And you can see interviews and videos of nine exhibitions and events, a master class with Valentino, and a media library with 5,000 images including dresses, photos, drawings and 180 fashion show videos.
Yes, you read that right. One-Eight-Oh fashion shows.