Google has without a doubt been the single most beneficial tool since the Internet was invented. Want to learn more about something? Google it. Want to find a photo of someone? Google it. Want to not be lost in the middle of nowhere? Google [Maps] it. Want to start a blog? Google it (they created Blogger). The list could literally go on. But as far as the arts are concerned, it's not until now that they have created something truly revolutionary.
We Wear Culture is the latest addition to Google's Arts & Culture platform and will blow your mind. Working with 180 different museums, organisations, schools and fashion institutions across the globe, Google have essentially compiled what they say is "three millennia of fashion at your fingertips." From what we've seen, they're probably not bloody wrong.
The archive features over 450 carefully curated exhibits on differing topics, extensive information about the history and culture behind varying fashions in multiple formats, plus a tool where you can explore pieces and zoom in to ultra high resolution imagery to look at garments in detail. From the clothes worn in the court of Versailles to the trendsetters of the Hollywood Age, the platform is completely searchable and breathtakingly stunning.
Business of Fashion spoke to Google Arts & Culture's program manager Kate Lauterbach, who spoke more about the project. “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 come from culture more broadly,” she explained. “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.”
For fashion lovers the world over, having 30,000 fashion pieces directly available in one online space, "valuable" is a pretty big understatement.