A collaboration between the British Fashion Council (BFC) and Google will bring to life the creativity, heritage and craftsmanship of British fashion. A new digital educational platform featuring content and stories from top British designers and fashion insiders has been created for anyone around the world to enjoy, for free. The project will support the BFC’s Education Foundation and aims to attract future talent into the industry. The platform g.co/britishfashion will provide a single destination to educate and inspire future generations of young fashion creatives, designers and students.
To celebrate its rich history and create new experiences around British fashion, the BFC and Google have gathered together content from fashion icons - brands, designers, makers and craftspeople, creatives, photographers, stylists and models - and used technology to tell their stories.
Visitors to g.co/britishfashion will be able to watch giants of the industry - from Burberry to Vivienne Westwood - feature in specially curated digital exhibits through innovative and immersive digital experiences. With over 1,000 assets to explore, including over twenty multimedia exhibits, twenty-five videos and three virtual reality experiences, all accessible from anywhere in the world, on desktop, laptop or mobile.
Highlights of the digital collection include:
- A super high resolution capture of a couture dress from Alexander McQueen’s SS17 collection, allowing people to zoom in and see its threadwork in never-before-seen detail; and a 360 video featuring the inspiration behind top couture dresses
- Manolo Blahnik at work in virtual-reality at his London atelier
- Curated exhibits from and about fashion legends and brands including Burberry, Browns, David Bailey, Edward Enninful, Erdem, i-D, J.W.Anderson, Michael Howells, Naomi Campbell, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood
- Decades of British craftsmanship from the houses of Harris Tweed, John Lobb shoes, Lochcarron Tartan and the Royal School of Needlework
Sarah Mower MBE, American Vogue Chief Critic and BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent, has also directed a short film captured in 360 VR so viewers can come face-to-face with industry luminaries, who share touching and personal insights about their careers in fashion. Using Google Cardboard or on YouTube via a 360 video, users can watch supermodel Naomi Campbell, designer and entrepreneur Anya Hindmarch, creative director Edward Enninful and Joan Burstein, founder and Honorary Chairman of Browns.
Visitors can also explore rich, archival materials from top British fashion houses sorting their searches by colour and chronology. They will be able to get close to British Fashion’s biggest characters and moments, reliving Kate Moss’s first runway show at London Fashion Week and exploring profiles of the fashion industry’s key players - from Naomi Campbell to Christopher Bailey. Users will also be able to go behind-the-scenes of top craftspeople and producers of British fashion, including the Royal School of Needlework and Brora Cashmere.
To mark the launch of the project, Paul Smith has designed a special-edition Google Cardboard and created online exhibits around five objects that represent his creative vision and brand.
Looking ahead to London Fashion Week Men’s in January, the tenth edition of London’s menswear showcase, the site will feature a ‘Spotlight on Menswear’ featuring content from Dylan Jones, Jim Chapman and Nick Knight.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council said, “The internet has been an incredible resource for opening up the fashion industry to a new audience, giving young people access to information not previously available. This collaboration represents a new step, bringing together diverse information into one, engaging place. We hope this legacy project will not only inspire but also educate – allowing young people wanting to get into fashion to see the breadth of individuals, skills and careers that make up this multifaceted industry.”
Amit Sood, Director of Google’s Cultural Institute said, “British Fashion has such a unique and revered place within the international fashion industry, and is hugely rich in content, characters, icons and stories. It’s been a joy to work on this project and bring its distinct textures and tales to life through technology - so that now even more people around the world can enjoy it.”
Kristina Blahnik, CEO of Manolo Blahnik commented, “We at Manolo Blahnik are delighted to be involved in such a forward thinking, immersive and engaging project. The focus on education and legacy is key for us; Manolo has built an archive of over 30,000 unique styles which he has personally designed over his 45 years in the business. This collaboration between BFC and Google is a wonderful investment and opportunity to share some of these creations, inspirations and iconic drawings with the next generation of designers.”
The online exhibition opens today at g.co/britishfashion and is available for free online and through the new Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. You can watch all the 360 degree videos on YouTube.