Google’s new ‘We Wear Culture’ project is an accessible and free archive of more than 30,000 fashion pieces.
It has partnered with 180 cultural institutions from museums, to archives and organisations across the globe to digitise and create 450 exhibitions. According to Google, the project puts ‘three millennia of fashion at your fingertips’.
Some of the stories a visitor can explore are how the Japanese kimono surfaced in the 3rd century AD to the way it is worn today, how lace is made in Switzerland, the history of the protest T-shirt, to the styles of Frida Kahlo, the clothes worn at the court of Versailles, and the styles worn by the French aristocracy, including Marie-Antoinette.
Through the project, visitors can explore fashion icons – the famous faces and designers that changed the way we dress, the different fashion movements that took place over history, the craft of fashion, how clothes are made, and how fashion is related to the arts
One of Google’s exhibits features the story of the sari — based on the collection of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalaya.
From patolas to kanchipuram saris, from brocade work to blouses, the exhibition takes you through the different styles of a sari, the different ways to drape them and the significance of wearing them.
Google has also made use of its Street View function, through which you can take virtual tours of various exhibitions, including an inside tour of the Palace of Versailles. Besides Street View and high-definition photos, it also has interactive videos about fashion. One such video explores how Coco Chanel made the little black dress a must have for every woman.
You can also explore the materials by which clothes are made, and their geographical and economic histories.
The project is a must see for fashion lovers, designers, history buffs, artists and anyone who is interested in the multifaceted story of fashion.
Picture Credit: Vogue