Europeana fashion

Fashion Illustration for everyone

europeana fashion momu thesaurus gabrielle de pooter

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

For the past two-and-half years, MoMu has been working on the Europeana Fashion project. Together with more than twenty other fashion museums and private institutions, MoMu is making its collection available online via europeanafashion.eu.

One special challenge when bringing all those collections together in one place is making them searchable and findable for everyone. After all, MoMu writes its information in Dutch, but a Spanish museum in Spanish, etc.

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

europeana fashion momu thesaurus gabrielle de pooter

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

However, Europeana Fashion wanted to take the thesaurus one step further. 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!

Together with the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, MoMu asked Hungarian fashion student David Ring from the Antwerp Fashion Department to make a drawing of each fashion item in the thesaurus.

The drawings turned out beautiful! Europeana Fashion did not want to keep them just for europeanafashion.eu, but decided everyone should be able to enjoy and re-use these drawings.

Therefore, the project is working 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.

Want to know more about this project? Watch this video of Gabrielle de Pooter presenting this project during the annual Europeana conference in Madrid.