Google's spent the past five years digitizing more than 45,000 pieces of art from around the world as part of its Art Project, so you can pull up everything from the Dead Sea Scrolls to a Marc Chagall masterpiece on your phone or laptop, and look at it in detail. Now, the digital behemoth is doing the same thing for fashion.
Google just launched its new "We Wear Culture" initiative, an immersive look at hundreds of years of designers and clothing, along with stories from museum curators worldwide about the reasons behind why we wear what we wear. It's kind of awesome that a tech company (aka the land of hoodies and jeans) recognizes that fashion is something beyond vanity; that it is a form of art.
"We really wanted to put fashion on a par with art and artists. You look at their influences, you look at their inspiration, you look at their process, you look at their materials. And we thought that if you can have this kind of singular resource online where all of this was starting to be discussed — and hear it from the authority, I think that’s really critical — it would be valuable," Google program manager for We Wear Culture Kate Lauterbach told Business of Fashion.
In other words, if you can't get to the Met's Rei Kawakubo exhibit in NYC this summer, Google is bringing it right to your computer screen with an incredibly helpful walkthrough and video from curator Andrew Bolton. Other cool features on the site include a 3-D animation explaining why Vivienne Westwood’s famous "Boucher" corset is so influential from the senior curator of fashion at London's V&A Museum. There's also photos of Tokyo street style, a history of the little black dress, and street-view style walkthroughs of museums. This only the tip of the iceberg, so if you're interested in fashion history, this is the perfect Friday afternoon treat.
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