Re-use of fashion heritage and new digital perspectives

2006 Caleidoscopio Gorizia . Archivio Missoni © Missoni S.p.A.
2006 Caleidoscopio Gorizia . Archivio Missoni © Missoni S.p.A.

2006 Caleidoscopio Gorizia . Archivio Missoni © Missoni S.p.A.

Just think of a designer delving into a brand archive to inspire a new collection or a director researching a fashion film. Using fashion heritage is not just looking at the past but discovering how the past can become relevant in a contemporary context.

While previously kept in archives and only seen by researchers and fashion industry insiders, the internet and digitisation have changed the game of fashion heritage. Museums and brand archives now make digital copies of their collections and put them online for use in online exhibitions, marketing campaigns and more.

A recent example is the house of Lanvin, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary on social media with  ‘Lanvin History’. For the occasion, the house opens its archives and shows its heritage through photos, videos and original artwork by Jeanne Lanvin on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and its own website.

Now that archives are starting to show their material on the internet, more and more people can discover and re-use this material. Europeana Fashion wants to explore these new opportunities for fashion heritage during its series of three annual conferences around fashion and digital technology. The second conference will take place on 9 April 2014 at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. The opening up of archives to a large audience combined with the power of archives to inspire new forms of fashion culture is the topic of this conference. The event is sold out, but we will keep you updated on interesting outcomes from it.

In the light of the V&A’s latest exhibition ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’, the conference approaches the theme ‘Made in Italy: re-use of fashion heritage and new digital perspectives’ from the view of Italian fashion houses, museums and archives.

These institutions do not just guard fashion’s cultures and histories, they support the creation of new fashion.
For example, the classic silhouette of this Chanel skirt and jacket from 1965…

Chanel skirt and jacket from 1965

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…takes a new form in this silhouette for the Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2011 collection.

Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2011 collection

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For more details about the conference, click here.

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