Reuse scenario

Fashion Collections

Engaging and immersive museum experiences for fashion heritage.

The European Fashion Heritage Association (EFHA) and Centraal Museum Utrecht (CMU), in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (NISV) and the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), are working together to develop two innovative reuse scenarios in the fashion heritage domain. The primary objective is to explore and create a more engaging and immersive museum experience using historical fashion digital assets.
Marco Rendina, Managing Director of EFHA explains:
"Traditionally, the experience of a museum and its objects is rather passive. Now, we are shifting from mere observation to a more active involvement. Museums are rethinking their spaces to adapt them to the needs and requests of the public to be more involved in the creative phases of the activities of a museum, from workshops to display and exhibitions, promoting a deeper understanding of collections, a higher level of interactivity, a more diverse offer in terms of activities and ways to engage with artefacts and their stories, and a more advanced use of immersive technologies."
Cultural institutions are exploring new ways to make their collections more accessible, above all remotely. However, in most cases, this has been limited to traditional web technologies - websites, online catalogues, and social media posts - which offer little interaction and lack immersion. The pilots developed in the project aim to expand onto new digital territories by utilising 3D and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies, bridging the gap between uncharted digital arenas and physical space of the museum and hopefully inspiring the cultural and creative sector at large.

Interacting with 3D digital fashion collections in social VR

The first scenario we envisioned addresses the challenges faced by museums in organising fashion exhibitions that involve loans from other institutions. To avoid the many complexities related to loans (fragility of historical objects, high costs of transportation and couriering, as well as issues related to prolonged display and conservation), the pilot will experiment with new techniques of displaying using Social Virtual Reality. The aim is to curate an exhibition showcasing 3D costumes from fashion collections belonging to different cultural institutions. Building upon the successful MediaScape project by NISV (Europe's leading media museum and an EFHA member), this scenario will combine the digital and physical experience with 3D objects coming from various collections in a virtual immersive environment, and it will make them available in the Data Space for Cultural Heritage. Visitors will be able to bring to life historical costumes from the collections of NISV, CMU and other museums from the Modemuze network through social VR. The result will be an immersive virtual exhibition, where visitors will directly interact with the 3D digitised costumes and engage with other remote visitors. The exhibition will enable people to enjoy a cultural and educational experience from the comfort of their homes, pushing the boundaries of a traditional museum visit. Close-up interaction with artefacts, with the possibility to deconstruct and reconstruct historical garments and accessories, immersion in a curated virtual environment, multimedia contextualization, and a shared social experience: activities that are not normally part of the exhibition experience, and will allow the public a holistic and engaging exploration of fashion heritage.
Given the nature of the exhibition, the MediaScape platform will also enable digital shared experiences outside the museum's walls, extending to schools, libraries, and other public spaces.

Virtual Fitting Rooms

This scenario leverages the previous experiences of Centraal Museum Utrecht, another EFHA member, in utilising 3D historical objects and AR solutions to extend its fashion collections beyond the museum's physical spaces. In the "Virtual fitting room" pilot, a virtual try-on web application based on ARKit/ARCore technology will be developed by project partner FBK. Users will be able to virtually try on garments using their smartphone or laptop cameras. The application will provide a selection of digitised historical hats from CMU, allowing users to virtually wear them. The AR technology will automatically adjust the size and position of the hat on the user's head, creating a realistic and playful experience. This initiative enables visitors to engage with historical objects and imagine what it would be like to wear them. The museum, in turn, disseminates and valorizes its digitised collections, allowing a more personal and interactive experience with them.
By pushing the boundaries of technology and incorporating these reuse scenarios, EFHA, CMU, NISV, and FBK aim to show new ways in which people can learn about, appreciate and get in contact with our shared fashion heritage.

From the blog

Interesting articles and news about the project

Press Release, Social VR, Fashion Heritage, Exhibition, Event

"Fashion Beneath the Skin" - Experience Fashion in a new Dimension

From 26-28 June 2024 you will have the unique opportunity to explore 5Dculture's collaborative social Virtual Reality (VR) installation “Fashion Beneath the Skin”, showcasing the potential of reusing digitized material and 3D garments in combination with new technologies. It is a...

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