VALENTINO is launching a virtual museum,

The designer and his long-term business partner Giancarlo Giammetti will launch the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum - a downloadable desktop application - on December 5 and Valentino is delighted to have made his legacy "accessible".

Valentino - who retired from his fashion house in 2008 - told WWD: "I see it as part of my legacy. I am happy that thousands of students, young designers and fashion people will be able to see and study my work in every aspect of it, and in a manner easy and accessible for the younger generations. But it is also important to remember things of the past, to review The Fashion that has shaped our lives. I would call it 'Future Memory.'"

The 3D site has been constructed to resemble a genuine museum, structured in the same way a real exhibit would with rooms, wings and galleries and would cover over 107,500 square feet of space in The Real World.

Giammetti said: "With Novacom's and Kinmonth-Monfreda's help, we were able to create an architecture that belongs to Italy, and to Rome, Valentino's epicenter, which is described by light and shade, chiaroscuro, and at the same time is unbuildable, an architecture only possible in a computer-generated world.

"Animated galleries show a life's work, and key dresses have been photographed in 360 degrees. Click on them and they revolve to show every line and stitch. Click again and discover the history of the dress, who wore it where and when."

The museum features over 300 dresses, including Julia Roberts' 2001 Academy Awards gown, Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding outfit from when she married Aristotle Onassis and garments made famous by Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and others.

Each look will be accompanied by anecdotes and photos where applicable, while sketches, illustrations, advertising campaigns and special events and gala footage will also be displayed.