Now Reading
Fashion Art Exhibits at Museums You Must See This Summer

Fashion Art Exhibits at Museums You Must See This Summer

azzedine-alaia-fashion-exhibition-Mark Blower

Its time to start planning your summer travel getaway and if you’re like me, you want to plan a trip that will kill two or a few birds with one stone. One part adventurer and one part fashion lover. For those of you looking to add more than just sightseeing, eating or the norm tourist items to your summer travel itinerary, consider these fashionable additions to your next wanderlust getaway. There are several amazing fashion art exhibitions in these travel destinations that’s worth considering for your summer travel plans. Whether you are staying stateside to check out the Heavenly Bodies exhibit at the Met or heading to another continent we are sure these well curated historically enriching exhibits will provide some fashionable viewing for the fashionista in you.

photo via: Met Museum
photo via: Met Museum

EXHIBIT: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and The Catholic Imagination Exhibition.”
TICKETS: General admission is $25 for adults; $17 for seniors; $12 for students; and free for Members, Patrons, and children under 12. Buy tickets here.
LOCATION: Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, New York City


You’ve no doubt heard about this exhibit because #Metgala but the spring 2018 exhibition from Metropolitan Museum of Art is more than just red carpet/celebrity fashionista night out. This year’s exhibit titled “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and The Catholic Imagination Exhibition” is turning to Christian imagery in fashion, and supported by Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzmann, Versace and Condé Nast. Design houses from delicate, byzantine-inspired Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana dresses, the haute couture Garden of Eden à la Valentino and Balenciaga’s reinterpretation of a cardinal’s cloak, Rodarte and of course Christian imagery, history and symbols, given their place in the collection imagination are part of over 150 pieces playing on the powerful link between Catholicism and fashion. Dresses, coats, jewelry pieces and accessories straight from the wardrobe of a Christian princess will be exhibited across three large spaces from May 10 to October 8, 2018. In an exceptional gesture, the Vatican will be lending the exhibition around 50 pieces, some of which come from the Sistine Chapel, including Papal robes, jewelry pieces, tiaras and other ecclesiastical treasures dating from the 18th Century to the present day.

photo via V&A
photo via V&A

EXHIBIT: “Fashioned from Nature”
DATES:APRIL 21, 2018 – JANUARY 27, 2019
TICKETS: Admission to the V&A is free to V&A Members though it costs £12.00 for Adult admission, Seniors £11.00, Students £10.00 to see this exhibit Buy tickets here.
LOCATION:Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum | Victoria and Albert Museum Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Photo credit:
Photo credit:Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock via Evening Standard

This exhibit, described as “the first UK exhibition to explore the complex relationship between fashion and nature from 1600 to the present day” will 300 beautiful, intriguing and unsettling objects including a pineapple fibre clutch-bag, Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles, a cape of cockerel feathers. Fashioned from Nature traces the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world since 1600. It shows how fashionable dress recurringly draws on the beauty and power of nature for inspiration, with exquisite garments and accessories from Christian Dior, Dries van Noten and Philip Treacy. The exhibition also focuses closely on the raw materials used in the production of fashion from the main fibres used in the 17th and 18th centuries –
silk, flax, wool and cotton – as well as now controversial materials like whalebone,
demonstrated by an x-ray by Nick Veasey of a pair of 1780s stays, and turtle shell, used in a fan from 1700. It goes on to chart the expansion in international trade, import of precious materials, and later introduction of man-made materials, which brought fashionable dress to the masses but also contributed to the air and water pollution to which the textile industry is such a significant contributor. The exhibition presents a range of solutions to reducing fashion’s impact on the environment from low water denim and using wild rubber to more conceptual and collaborative projects. Exhibition sponsor are G-Star Raw and European Confederation of Flax and Hemp.

image via: Design museum
image via: Design museum

EXHIBIT: AZZEDINE Alaïa: The Couturier
DATES: MAY 10 – OCTOBER 7, 2018
TICKETS: Admission to the design museum is free to members; General admission is £16 for non-members; $17 for seniors; $12 for students; and free for Members, Patrons, and children under 12. Buy tickets here.
LOCATION: the Design Museum, Kensington, London

Azzedine Alaia with Elle McPherson photographed by Gilles Bensimon, 1986
Azzedine Alaia with Elle McPherson photographed by Gilles Bensimon, 1986

Before his death in November 2017, designer Azzedine Alaïa  had conceived and co-curated the exhibition along with longtime friend Mark Wilson, chief curator of the Groninger Museum, that charts his incredible journey from sculptor to couturier, his nonconformist nature and his infectious energy for fashion, friendship and the female body. Alaia was one of fashion’s foremost respected designers and not just because he had the best supermodels of our time strut in his pieces. Alaia was a master couturier because, unlike many of his contemporaries, Alaïa personally constructed each garment by hand and refused to bow to the pressures of fashion week deadlines, instead working to his own schedule. His collaborative approach earned him an esteemed client list, including Greta Garbo, Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones, Michelle Obama and Rihanna.

Rather than a retrospective, the show interlaces stories of his life and career alongside personally selected garments, ranging from the rare to the iconic and spanning the early 1980s to his most recent collection in 2017. 

Martin Margiela, waistcoat, Spring-Summer 1990. Made from slashed posters overlaid on a cotton base. © Françoise Cochennec : Galliera : Roger-Viollet
TICKETS: Full rate €10, Reduced rate €8 and free for those under 18. Buy tickets here.
LOCATION: Palais Galliera City of Paris Fashion Museum, 10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie 75116 Paris

This exhibit, curated by Alexandre Samson of the Palais Galliera’s contemporary collections, is the first one in Paris devoted solely to the renowned but very reclusive Belgian designer. The exhibit spans his career from S/Su ’89 to S/Su ’09. Margiela’s “Oversize Collection”, for example,  in which he pushed the scale of a garment to extremes, enlarging the proportions to 200%, adapting dolls’ clothes to the life-size human form in the “Barbie Collection” are some of the exhibit highlights. He’s printed trompe-l’oeil photos of dresses, sweaters and coats and established a new form of “cloven” shoe inspired by traditional Japanese tabis, i.e. with the big toe separated from the others. Using more than 130 silhouettes, videos of défilés, House archives and special installations, the Margiela / Galliera exhibition offers us an unprecedented look at one of the most influential contemporary fashion designers.

TICKETS: £9.90 adults / £8.80 concessions / £7 students / Children under 12 are free Buy tickets here.
LOCATION: Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London

Photo via: Twitter/@holly_harnett
Photo via: Twitter/@holly_harnett

Orla Kiely is one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful designers whose stylized graphic patterns are innovative, influential and instantly recognizable. This exhibition, curated by Dennis Nothdruft extile historian Mary Schoeser, spanning two decades with more than 150 pieces on show, explores the power of decoration to transform the way we feel. They include Kiely’s signature floral prints, Sixties silhouettes and girly dresses. Film projects with Mercedes Helnwein and Gia Coppola are also featured, as do Kiely’s family photos.

See Also


Photo via: FIT
Photo via: FIT

TICKETS: ADMISSION to exhibitions is FREE Buy tickets here.
LOCATION:Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT),
Seventh Avenue at 27 Street New York City

fashion unraveled FIT_image 2

Rather than feature pristine clothes that exemplify a theme, a time period, or a designer’s aesthetic, “fashion unraveled” curated by Colleen Hill explores the roles of memory and imperfection in fashion. The exhibition,at the Museum at FIT, also highlights the aberrant beauty in flawed objects, giving precedence to garments that have been altered, left unfinished, or deconstructed from designers including Yohji Yamamoto, Chanel, Betsey Johnson, Oscar de la Renta, Maison Martin Margiela, Cristóbal Balenciaga. These selections underscore one elemental fact about clothing: that it is designed to be worn and has, in some cases, been worn out. FIT will also present Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color beginning September 7 so you might want to plan a trip around both exhibits.


Want to keep up with our latest coverage plus exclusive event invites? Click here to get this and more scene worthy items delivered to your inbox.

Follow us on Snapchat Instagram | Facebook | Twitter 

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top