Fashion as culture

Here’s a hashtag you might want to look out for, if textiles and fashion are your thing: #WeWearCulture – it’s being used by Google Arts & Culture to flag up new short videos on world fashion history.


Having seen this introductory video, I was excited to see what the videos looked like – but now that I’ve seen them, I’m a bit disappointed.  I don’t feel they deliver at the high level of entertaining information that this intro led me to expect.

In their search to use technology, some of the video images produced are very shallow and wide, so to compensate, the screen is filled with exactly the same screen shown twice, one above the other – which I personally find disorientating and distracting.  Sorry, Google – please just narrow the width of the screen so the one picture fills it – and I will be better able to see closer up the detail on what I want to see – the actual dress itself.  Shot widescreen, it seems miles away.  This is an impressive big picture idea – to show the scope of fashion and culture, across the world, across the millennia – bold and daring.  The hashtag promises much but the delivery style is not quite there.

Compare the Google coverage of the history of the Little Black dress:


with a brief one and a half minute video by the English newspaper, The Telegraph – unfortunately, there is a 30 second advert which you have to let play through first (but you can mute the sound and roll your eyes heavenwards and that helps get through the boredom)


The Google Arts and Culture channel seem to have had a rethink on the style and presentation – and jumped abruptly from classic, informative and restrained to a yoof (ie youth) orientated presentation with a Youtuber fashionista with a visual style which jumps around restlessly, shows the presenter pulling exaggerated faces and features her relentlessly as the focus of interest – the more-important fashion images are reduced to blink-and-you’ll-miss-it length, sadly.   The audio delivery is frantically fast, also.  There are interesting points made – but they fly past your ears and on to the next without time to consider.  These are just my opinion, of course.  Thoughts?



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