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Travel Worthy Fashion-Based Art Exhibits to Check out this Summer

Travel Worthy Fashion-Based Art Exhibits to Check out this Summer

We’ve finally come to summer travel season and while you’re planning your next getaway, why not add a destination in your vacation with an exhibition or two centered around fashion. Travel is the best way open your mind and views of the world as well as to get some cultural education. Whether you are staying local right here in Chicago, traveling inside the US of A or going global and taking your travels international, we’ve curated some great fashion based art exhibits that are worth the travel you definitely must check out. Cultural excursions, museum trips, international vacations, there’s so much to look forward to. No matter what area of the world you may be visiting, there’s sure to be a show with a fashion focus nearby. Here are some of our top picks.

Jun Takahashi (Japanese, born 1969) for Undercover (Japanese, founded 1990). Ensemble, fall/winter 2017–18. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2017 (2017.399a–d). Photo © Johnny Dufort, 2019.

Exhibit: “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”

Dates: May 9, 2019- September 1, 2019

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, New York City, USA

This year’s Met Gala saw a number of over-the-top looks (and many rather muted outfits) under the event’s Camp theme. Rooted in extravagance and irony, and largely popularized by black and brown LGBTQIA+ people, Camp fashion plays on high-brow and low-brow culture. The exhibition is based on Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, “‘Notes on Camp.’” She succinctly captures the essence of Camp when she writes: “You’re not making fun of it, you’re making fun out of it.”


Virgil Abloh × MCA pop-up store, “Church & State,” MCA Chicago. Photo: Peter McCullough, © MCA Chicago.

Exhibit: “Virgil Abloh: ‘Figures of Speech.’”

Dates: June 10, 2019- September 22, 2019

Tickets: General Admission $15, Students and Seniors $8, Youth 18 and under Free. Buy tickets here.

Location: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Virgil Abloh’s first museum exhibition and artist survey. The Off-White founder draws inspiration from architecture, music, social tensions, and other artists, which shows in each section of the MCA exhibit. Abloh’s work for Kanye West, Serena Williams, and IKEA, Louis Vuitton among others make appearances. This survey of his work gives visitors an opportunity to see the stories Abloh embeds in his designs from his own words.

Exhibit: “Dior: From Paris to the World.”

Dates: May 19, 2019 – September 1, 2019

Tickets: Adult tickets are $20 Tuesday–Thursday, and $25 Friday–Sunday, with discounts for seniors, students, and military. DMA Members can reserve their free tickets online. Children 11 and under are free. Buy Tickets here.

Location: Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, USA

Celebrating the world-renowned art gallerist-turned-fashion designer, Christian Dior, this exhibit surveys over 70 years of the House of Dior’s work. The Dallas show features nearly 200 haute couture dresses and accessories, photos, sketches, videos, and other archival material. Dior could not have earned its reputation without its artistic directors and the survey includes profiles of Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and current director Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Installation view Iris van Herpen, Courtesy of Barrett Barrera Projects & RKL Consulting, Photo: Josh Brasted.


Exhibit: “A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes.”

Dates: May 11, 2019- September 2, 2019

Tickets: Adults $32, Seniors $29, Students $29, 5-17 $23, 0-4 free, members $6. Buy tickets here.

Location: Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, USA

“A Queen Within” is a unique show in that it doesn’t focus on a single designer or era, but explores how contemporary designers engage with femininity. Featuring over 100 works of fashion, photography, and video, this show presents women’s fashion as work rich in symbolism.


Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri (b. 1964), Éventail de vos hasards, silk tulle dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2018. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Photo © Laziz Hamani.

Exhibit: “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams.”

Dates: February 2, 2019- September 1, 2019

Tickets: Adults £24, Students, Seniors, Disabled people £19. Buy tickets here.

Location: V&A Museum, London, England

If you find yourself in London this summer, you’d be remiss to skip this exhibition on Christian Dior. Tackling work from 1947 to the present day, “Designer of Dreams” addresses the history and impact of Dior’s fashion house. Viewers will also get a look into the couturier’s relationship with Britain while becoming an international household name.


J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry.

Exhibit: “Wired to Wear.”

Dates: April 21, 2019- January 5, 2020

Tickets: Adults and Seniors $12, Children 3-11 $9. Buy tickets here.

Location: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, USA

The MSI may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a fashion-based exhibit, but the Chicago museum brings a truly innovative show to the globally-minded audience. This first-ever exhibit centering wearable tech brings designers, artists, and engineers from 15 countries together. Some of the works in this show are meant to be worn and tested, making this technology accessible to museum guests. The success of this kind of exhibit may determine how future shows blur the lines between art, fashion, and technology.


Thierry Mugler: Couturissime

Exhibit: Thierry Mugler: Couturissime

Dates: March 2, 2019 to September 8, 2019

Tickets: Ages 31 and up (24.00 $), Ages 21 to 30 (16.00 $), members $6. Buy tickets here.

Location: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime brings together more than 150 garments made between 1977 and 2014, most of which are being shown for the first time, as well as a wealth of unpublished archival documents and sketches. One hundred or so photographs by such world-renowned fashion photographers as Helmut Newton, Sarah Moon, Pierre et Gilles, David LaChapelle, Paolo Roversi, Herb Ritts, Dominique Issermann, Guy Bourdin and Richard Avedon, to name a few, round out the show. Each of the immersive galleries has been designed in collaboration with talented artist-designers and set designers, including Michel Lemieux, Philipp this retrospective reveals the multiple worlds of this irrepressible artistic figure – at once visionary couturier, director, photographer and perfumer – by revisiting his prêt-à-porter and haute couture creations. Curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, under the direction of Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator, MMFA.


Satin, synthetic. Courtesy of Viktor&Rolf.

Exhibit: “Gender Bending Fashion.”

Dates: March 21, 2019- August 25, 2019

Tickets. Adults $25, Seniors and Students $23. Buy tickets here.

Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

Spanning a century of haute couture and ready-to-wear looks, this Boston MFA exhibition challenges our notions of gendered fashion. It examines fashion’s history of redefining conventions and how it’s allowed people of various gender/ sexual identities to feel more at home in their skin. “Gender Bending Fashion” features pieces worn by icons such as David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix along with videos, paintings, and music, among other mediums.


Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad for Nike Pro Hijab, shot by Rick Guest, Agency: East, 2017.

Exhibit: “Contemporary Muslim Fashions.”

Dates: April 5, 2019- September 1, 2019

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Tickets: Guests 18+ 12.00 €. Buy tickets here.

Location: Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), Frankfurt, Germany

With over a billion Muslims worldwide, there should be many more exhibitions focused on historical and modern dress. “Contemporary Muslim Fashions” comes to its first European venue after a successful showing in San Francisco. It focuses on Muslim clothing from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, expressing the various religious and cultural identities that this fashion represents. It’s become increasingly important to broaden our worldview and normalize a wider variety of fashions. This exhibit does just that by pairing regional aesthetics with global trends to make up contemporary modest wear in Muslim countries.

Toshiko Yamawaki (1887–1960), Japan, Dress, 1956, silk, gold, Gift from Yamawaki Fashion Art College, © The Kyoto Costume Institute, Photo by Takashi Hatakeyama.

Exhibit: “Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style”

Dates: June 28, 2019- September 15, 2019

Tickets: Adults $10, Seniors, Students, and Children 17 and under $5, Children 5 and under Free. Buy tickets here.

Location: Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, USA

Despite being one of the most popular contemporary fashion aesthetics, kimono have rarely gotten a chance to shine in a focused exhibition. Featuring fashion from the late 19th century to today, visitors will have a chance to see just how influential kimono have been in international fashion trends. As a collaboration between Japanese and American institutions (Kyoto Fashion Institute and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, respectively), this exhibit will raise thoughtful discussion on kimono’s continued impact on painters, designers, and couturiers.

“Louis Vuitton X” Brad Dickson

Exhibit:Louis Vuitton X

Dates:  June 28 through September 15, 2019

Tickets: Free admission.

Location: 468 North Rodeo Drive building in Beverly Hills, California, USA

Across the two floors of the iconic 468 North Rodeo Drive building in Beverly Hills, California, Louis Vuitton X draws on over 180 items from an impressive journey through the Maison’s 160-year history of creative exchanges and artistic collaborations. The exhibition which is shown in ten different rooms, brings together a remarkable collection of early twentieth-century special order trunks, beautiful art deco perfume bottles and window displays commissioned and designed by Louis Vuitton’s grandson Gaston-Louis, iconic Monogram bags reworked by renowned artists and designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo, Cindy Sherman, and Frank Gehry, and original collaborations and commissions by artists including Yayoi Kusama, Richard Prince, and Zaha Hadid. A limited-edition pop-up store, curated by Sarah Andelman, former creative director of colette, will also be open from June 28 through September 15, featuring an assortment of LV products.



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