Courtesy
Meghan Overdeep
Jun 08, 2017 @ 10:00 am

Remember when Miranda Priestly lectured Andy Sachs about the history of her lumpy blue sweater in The Devil Wears Prada? We certainly do. That's because it's one of pop culture's most eloquent, albeit rude, commentaries on the importance of fashion in our society—even where we don't see it. And as Google so perfectly points out in its most recent project, fashion is culture.

In Google's ambitious new endeavor, We Wear Culture, the Internet giant has digitized the collections from more than 180 museums, fashion institutions, schools, archives, and other organizations from around the world to put three millennia of fashion at our fingertips. Now, you can browse from 30,000 pieces and sort by color, item, or era across 450+ exhibits. "Find stories from the ancient Silk Road to the ferocious fashion of the British punk. Or meet icons and trendsetters like Coco Chanel, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent or Vivienne Westwood," Google writes in a blog post introducing the exciting new feature.

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Also included are a series of virtual reality films that bring the stories behind iconic pieces to life. Like how Chanel made it acceptable for women to wear black for any occasion, or how Salvatore Ferragamo pioneered the stiletto. You can also explore how shoemakers, jewelers, tie-dyers, and bag-makers master their crafts through generations, and zoom into ultra-high resolution images to see the artisanship on iconic pieces in unprecedented detail. And as if that wasn't enough to occupy us for days, you can also step inside the world's largest costume collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Conservation Laboratory in 360 degrees, and see how pieces are preserved for future generations.

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Browse "We Wear Culture" online now, or check it out in the Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. Pro tip: set aside an hour or two before you embark down fashion memory lane.

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