An ambitious archive, which plans to offer 700,000 digital
elements by 2015, is scheduled to debut May 2.
An ambitious fashion archive is being readied for its debut May
2, when Europeana Fashion will go online with about 100,000 digital
elements from 22 European museums and institutions -- a gallery
ranging from a 1921 embroidered dress by Madeleine Vionnet to a
Diana Vreeland letter to the designer Emilio Pucci.
The project's goal is to have a total of 700,000 fashion-related
elements in digital form and online by March 2015, helping to
preserve European fashion history for future generations.
"This is the first attempt to assemble such an important
collection of fashion content from both private and public archives
and museums," said Alessandra Arezzi Boza, a freelance fashion
curator based in Florence who oversees the site's content and
communications. "And it is surely one of the great challenges of the
project as, until now, fashion content was scattered online and not
The project is an offshoot of Europeana, the five-year-old online
digital library that showcases images of about 24 million cultural
artifacts, including the Mona Lisa and the Gutenberg Bible.
For now, those who go to www.europeanafashion.eu will find
details about the project, a blog about its development, a social
corner with Twitter feed and Facebook posts, and a list of fashion-
related events around Europe.
Once the site is fully ready, organizers say, users will be able
to search the archives by date, designer, item or keyword. A click
on a particular image will bring up a detailed view and more
information, as well as more images, if available.
Items will include images from fashion shows, catwalks, museum
exhibitions and installations in fashion fairs; videos; biographies;
blogs; documentation like show invitations, which might be
considered works of art in themselves; and articles from newspapers
and magazines dating from the 18th century.
Beyond the Web, Europeana Fashion is planning a series of
conferences, beginning with "Fashion Industry and the GLAM
Community" on April 17 and 18 in Florence, and organizers are
considering virtual exhibitions, showcases and a cooperative
arrangement with Wikimedia events.
Mrs. Arezzi Boza and Marco Rendina, a researcher and new-media
expert at Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale, a Italian nonprofit
organization, came up with the idea for Europeana Fashion a couple
of years ago when they realized the limits of the original site. …