Google’s latest “We Wear Culture” project has digitized over 30,000 fashion pieces and thousands of images to create a database that puts “three millennia of fashion at your fingertips.” Over 180 museums, schools, fashion institutions and other organizations have contributed to the project.
“We Wear Culture” features over 450 exhibits on a range of topics, from the major fashions worn at Versailles to the pieces that transformed the way Chinese women dress.
Virtual reality films act as a tour guide for a variety of topics, with one that explains the history of how the black dress became an iconic piece of fashion.
High-resolution photographs allow users to zoom in on even the smallest details of some pieces on the site, but it isn’t just about looking at them. Captions with the images can include background information about the people who made them, wore them or interacted with them in any way, bringing the fashions to life.
“We wanted to show that fashion is much deeper than just what you wear — that there’s a story behind it, there’s people behind it, there’s influences that come from art, that come from music, that came from culture more broadly,” Kate Lauterbach, the program manager for Google Arts & Culture, told BOF.