Washington: A large part of a culture is defined by what is worn by its people, and in India it is a vast and varied spectrum of cultures and clothes, which can now be explored through Google’s latest virtual exhibition project.
Working with 183 renowned cultural institutions from around the world including India, Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ lets people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago from the ancient Silk Road, to the courtly fashion of Versailles, to the unmatched elegance of the Indian Saree.
“We invite everyone to browse the exhibition on their phones or laptops and learn about the stories behind what you wear.
“You might be surprised to find out that your Saree, jeans or the black dress in your wardrobe have a centuries-old story. What you wear is true culture and more often than not a piece of art,” Amit Sood, director of Google Arts and Culture, said.
The online project includes collections from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and varied weaves from across India, from Gharchola to Patola to Temple to Ikat sarees, as it traces the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures, the company said.
The world fashion exhibit also showcases designs from north-eastern India including the weaves of tribes such as the Nagas, Meitis and the traditional attire from Meghalaya called ‘Dhara’ or ‘Nara’ worn by the Khasi women.
“The unique colourful and rich embroidery arts, applique and mirror work from different communities such as the Ahir, Rabari, Chaudhury Patel and many others from the western part of India have also been brought online by SEWA Hansiba Museum as part of this exhibit.
“The exhibition by Salar Jung Museum brings alive the Sherwani and how it became the royal fashion of the Nizams from 19th century Hyderabad. Colonial Indian attires can be revisited with Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum,” it said.
Fashion and textiles enthusiasts can explore over 400 online exhibitions and stories sharing a total of 50,000 photos, videos and other documents on world fashion.
Some of the highlights available online from ‘We wear culture’ project include icons, the movements, the game changers and the trendsetters like Alexander McQueen, Audrey Hepburn, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace and many more.