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The Online Fashion Encyclopedia

europeana fashion

Europeana Fashion is a three year project launched in March 2012, which aims to produce a public online archive of European fashion and its history. It is expected to be finalized by March 2015 featuring over 700,000 fashion related digital objects including sketches, drawings, pictures, posters, historical accessories and clothes and videos. The project was cofunded by the European Commission and has brought together the effort of 23 partners coming from 12 different countries, consisting of various public and private museums such as Les Arts Décoratifs (Paris), Pitti Immagine (Florence), Archivio Missoni (Milan) and the Victoria & Albert Museum (London). The first 100,000 digital elements will be launched on the online site www.europeanafashion.eu next month, on May 2.

As soon as the site is properly working and competed, users will have the chance to browse the archive by keywords, dates, designer name in order to find relevant features which could be anything from a runway invitation or a biography to an exhibition. As Alessandra Arezzi Boza, a freelance fashion curator explains “This is the first attempt to assemble such an important collection of fashion content from both private and public archives and museums, and it is surely one of the great challenges of the project as, until now, fashion content was scattered online and not easily searchable.” This new digital project is bound to help anyone interested in fashion to get easy and fast access to the most important fashion artifacts.

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Fashion has been an important part of the European history and it has progressively become more recognized for its research value to other areas like communication, sociology and arts, to name a few. From the beginning of the twentieth century  several of the most renown museums and institutions have kept a collection of historical fashion documents and pieces, ranging from magazine covers and fashion catalogues to garments and jewellery belonging to royal families. Thanks to this, the broader virtual library Europeana will be able to launch a space dedicated purely to Fashion history, which will also include a fashion thesaurus.

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“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” -Coco Chanel

Our Team at Modernwearing has decided to publish this article because it is one of the most important digital fashion projects up-to-date, with over 23 European museums collaborating to pool their resources in one portal.

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