Dubbed “We Wear Culture,” the new project allows you to get up close and personal with pieces that are often difficult to display and, when they are, very popular and jam-packed with people. The Associated Press : It is the ultimate fragility of clothes, though, that makes the project appealing to museum curators, explained Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s head curator — whereas many garments are too delicate to be permanently displayed, digitizing a collection makes it viewable forever. The Costume Institute has provided 500 of the objects on display, noted Loic Tallon, the Met’s chief digital officer. Participating institutions include the Met’s Costume Institute, the Kyoto Costume Institute, the Victoria & Albert in London—as well as 180 others. They even did a behind-the-scenes video with the Costume Institute’s restoration team. One featured collection is that of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. NMAAHC is now home to the holdings of the Black Fashion Museum, founded in 1979 by Lois K. Alexander-Lane and now “one of the foundational collections” at the museum. The online exhibit honors and offers more background on Alexander-Lane and her collection, explaining for instance: Lois Kindle Alexander-Lane collected items made and worn by enslaved people, as well as designers and seamstress like Ann Lowe and Rosa Parks. Ann Lowe (1898-1981), one of America’s most significant fashion designers, was born in Clayton, Alabama, the daughter and granddaughter of seamstresses.
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