Google is a godsend. Or at least, we like to think so. Always there when you need to ask what the capital of Turkmenistan is at 3am, or find out that Gemini-Scorpio compatibility (spoiler alert: it’s not looking good). Now, its new Arts & Culture app lets you explore archives from the most renowned cultural institutions using only your fingertips. Think hundreds of museums, fashion councils, universities and initiatives from all over the globe, each offering access to their previously hidden archival content. With selected partners including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Cristobal Balenciaga Museum, the history that is ready for instant discovery is quite mind-blowing.
Making up for Wikipedia’s terrible fashion entries, the aim is that it gives access to art, fashion history, and culture for everyone – everywhere. In case you were thinking that all of this took away the experience of actually visiting a show, there’s the additional feature of virtual reality. Four VR experiences have been developed already, so you can take your pick from engaging with Chanel’s Black Dress, Vivienne Westwood’s corset, or the evolution of Comme des Garçons.
With the app’s custom built Art Camera – developed to take ultra-high resolution images – viewers will be able to discover every fine detail on a couture piece in just one zoomable image. Bringing out details invisible to the naked eye, the Art Camera takes hundreds of close-up images that are then stitched together to create an intensely detailed whole. And with over 2000 ultra-high resolution images of artwork and clothing already created, the opportunity for discovery is immense.
In addition, the Expeditions feature allows teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips, bringing abstract concepts to life to the classroom. The amount of discovery is huge, and the App has only just launched. Safe to say, the opportunity for expanding our fashion education just got a whole lot bigger. Thanks, Google.