OXFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom — Arguably the most memorable scene in The Devil Wears Prada was Meryl Streep’s searing monologue reprimanding the doe-eyed Anne Hathaway for having undermined fashion’s profound influence on mass culture.
In the movie, she’s able to draw from her prolific knowledge of the industry to trace the origins of a certain cerulean blue hue, from the runways of Oscar de la Renta and Saint Laurent to the racks of department stores.
Today, however, no one needs an impeccable memory to understand the life cycle of a colour du jour. In partnership with BoF, Google unveiled Thursday at the BoF VOICES conference an interactive online tool, free to use, to take a colour palette and pinpoint runway looks with the same colour schemes, drawn from nearly 4,000 fashion shows.
Spearheaded by Google’s artist-in-residence Cyril Diagne and announced in VOICES 2017, the project uses machine learning to map out these fashion palettes, and allows users to upload their own photos.
In a live demonstration Thursday evening, Diagne pulled BoF’s Imran Amed on stage to take a photo of his tie-dyed green suit, designed by New Delhi-based Divyam Mehta. Within seconds, the new Google function pulled up dozens of runway looks in the same range of colours with designer details.
“This could inform a student on their next project, an editor on their next story,” Diagne said. “It might even inspire Gabriela Hearst on her next collection” — a shout-out to the designer sitting in the audience that evoked a chorus of exclamation.
To learn more about VOICES, BoF's annual gathering for big thinkers, visit our VOICES website, where you can find all the details on our invitation-only global gathering.