Fashion’s foray into tech continues. Google has partnered with the Metropolitan Museum for its latest exhibition, the “We Wear Culture” project, which was celebrated with a cocktail party Thursday night.
“It doesn’t matter if you are in fashion or not: you are by nature a part of it simply by wearing something,” said Amit Sood, director of the Google Cultural Institute, from the Great Hall in the museum. “There is something in it for everyone.”
Designers Tory Burch, Adam Selman, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne came out to try on the exhibit’s virtual reality glasses and mingle, as did art folk Dustin Yellin, Casey Fremont Crowe, Rachel Feinstein and more.
“For the [fashion] industry, it will be particularly useful for research and inspiration,” said Kate Lauterbach, a program manager for Google’s Cultural Institute, and a fashion veteran herself, who sees the permanence of the virtual project as a democratic way of giving everyone a rich experience into the history of fashion. “It’s just the beginning of what we can do with clothes.”
“We Wear Culture” combines the tools of virtual reality with fashion designs of the past. Google and the museum have been collaborating for the past two years in an effort to document, catalogue and enhance the massive collection of sartorial history housed within the museum. Today every piece of clothing — from the general ensemble to the finest detail — are accessible in a high-definition virtual online catalogue. Also featured are short histories of iconic pieces, muses and designers that shaped the fashion world as we know it.
“I was really excited to be able to show off our collection down there in storage, so people could have access to that on a virtual level,” said Andrew Bolton, the head curator of the Costume Institute. He hopes the project will become an incentive to visit the museum and the clothing collection. “There’s no substitute to actually seeing the real garment; you actually need to look at it and experience the materiality for it to make sense.”