From the courtly fashions of Versailles to the street styles of modern Tokyo and the stories behind our costumes, the world of fashion is brought to your fingertips in a new virtual exhibition.

We Wear Culture brings together 3,000 years of the world’s fashion in a new online exhibition of style.

The project, by Google Arts & Culture, is a collaboration with more than 180 renowned cultural institutions from New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, São Paulo and around the world, including the RSC.

Using state-of-the-art technology, the project allows you to explore everything from the ancient Silk Road, through the courtly fashions of Versailles, to British punk and the stories behind the designs of the costumes you see on our stages.

Vivien Leigh as Lavinia in a long white gown
Vivien Leigh's Lavinia costume for the 1955 production of Titus Andronicus is a part of the exhibition.

Iconic pieces from our costume collection and designer drawings are now available online as part of the global exhibition opening today, including:

  • Paapa Essiedu’s suit from Hamlet
  • David Tennant’s breast plate from Richard II
  • Laurence Olivier Coriolanus costume
  • Vivien Leigh’s Lavinia costume (pictured)

You can now see the unique artisanal details of these costumes and designer drawings in a gigapixel-picture taken by Google Arts & Culture’s Art Camera – a custom built device that takes hundreds of close-up images that are then stitched together to create an intensely detailed whole that reveals details that are hidden from the naked eye.

The exhibitions feature trendsetters including Alexander McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Christian Dior, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik, Gianni Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Balmain, Vivienne Westwood, Miyake Issey and many more.

Fashion experts, curators and designers as well as universities, museums and NGOs from around the world worked together on the exhibition, while Google’s state-of-the-art technology was used to preserve the collections and make them available for everyone.

Explore the RSC part of We Wear Culture

You may also like