Fashion Illustrations for Everyone

For the past two-and-half years, over twenty fashion museums and private institutions have been working on the Europeana Fashion project.Together, they are making their collections available online right here at Europeana Fashion.One special challenge when bringing all those collections together in one place is making them searchable and findable for everyone. After all, not all museums write information about their collection in the same language.

CC-BY-SA MoMu – ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen / Monica Ho

Therefore, all partners in the project worked  together to make a fashion thesaurus in 11 languages. This thesaurus works in Europeana Fashion and automatically translates the keywords of the user. So if you type “skirt”, you automatically search for “rok” in Dutch, “falda” in Spanish and so on.

However, Europeana Fashion wanted to take the thesaurus one step further and make a drawing of as many concepts in the thesaurus as possible . If you could search by selecting a picture of a skirt, it would not matter which language you spoke, because anyone can recognise a skirt!

europeana fashion momu thesaurus gabrielle de pooter

CC-BY-SA MoMu – ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen / Monica Ho

Two partners in Europeana Fashion worked on making this happen. The Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels and MoMu – Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp asked Hungarian fashion student David Ring from the Antwerp Fashion Department to make these drawings.

The drawings turned so beautiful that Europeana Fashion did not want to keep them just for the website. We wanted everyone to  be able to enjoy and re-use these drawings. Therefore, the project is working together with Wikimedia on making more than 350 of these drawings available on Wikimedia Commons under a Public Domain license, so anyone is free to use and edit the drawings.

View the drawings on Wikimedia Commons

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