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The Best 2017 Fashion Exhibitions

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2017 is proving to be an exciting year in the fashion sphere. Fashion exhibitions are one of the world’s most treasured experiences in the fashion, art and history communities, as they offer a wonderfully unique perspective. Today we have gathered some of the most talked about and anticipated fashion exhibitions of this year.

The Best 2017 Fashion Exhibitions


Items: Is Fashion Modern?

This 2017 fashion exhibition asks the question, how much can a basic clothing piece or accessory influence a certain time frame in history? From plain white tees, the little black dress, a Casio watch, to a classic pair of Levi’s 501. These are the type of basic pieces examined in this exhibition. The MoMA collected 99 of these objects that “had a significant impact on 20th and 21st century history and society, and that are still modern nowadays.” Side note: the title of this exhibition was inspired by the title of a similar show in MoMA New York, in 1944: “Are Clothes Modern?”. This exhibition will display the relationships between fashion and functionality, political statements, self-identification, economy and technology. The exhibition dates: October 1, 2017–January 28, 2018. Find more information here: Moma.org.

Diana: Her Fashion Story

2017 marks the 20 year anniversary of Princess Diana’s passing. This exhibition stands as a testament of the princess’s inspiring style and role as a fashion icon. It will include Diana’s favorite flowers curated by her gardner Sean Harking, historical images of the princess and dresses that she wore at official events. Dresses she wore in memorable moments such as the navy blue velvet Victor Edelstein gown in which she famously danced with John Travolta at the White House in 1986, the ruffle pussy bow blouse she wore for her official engagement announcement portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981 and the bold blue tartan coat worn to a trip to Venice. All of this will take place in the garden of Kensington Palace. Find more information here: tickets.telegraph.uk. The exhibitions dates: Now-October 31.

Bowie by Duffy Fashion Exhibition at the Proud Gallery Chelsea, London

Brian Duffy‘s photography in fashion and advertising has been featured in magazines such as Glamour, British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire-which led him to be a top photographer within the 60’s and 70’s. The exhibition features original signed prints by the late photographer, giving an insight into his partnership with David Bowie between 1972 and 1980. On display, will be photographs taken over five photoshoots. Posed and styled images from album covers are mixed with a handful of candid shots, offering a more personal perspective into Bowie’s evolution during the time. Duffy is infamous for being responsible for the unforgettable Aladdin Sane album cover now referred to as the ‘Mona Lisa of Pop.’ Although this exhibition passed, you can read more about the details here: www.proudonline.co.uk.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

This exhibition, presented by Victoria and Albert Museum is dedicated to the life story of the great Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenziaga and celebrates the first 100 years of this maison, featuring over 100 items, including clothing and headwear.

Balenziaga coined the phrase “elegance is elimination” and was famously dubbed by Christian Dior as “the master of all of us”. Balenciaga shows were known to be so captivating, that they were held in almost complete silence. In fact the designer to this day remains almost an enigma in the fashion industry, as he only gave a single press interview in his entire life. Despite this, Balenziaga dressed the greatest worldly women in history from Barbara Hutton and the Countess Von Bismark to the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill. The exhibition will feature over 100 Balenciaga outfits, some from the the Victoria and Albert Museum’s own archive and many exclusive pieces that have never been displayed before from private collections. The exhibition is opening on Saturday, 27 May 2017. Find more information here: vam.ac.uk.

Basquiat: Boom for Real

The Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition will be the first large-scale exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK and will feature 100 paintings, many of which have never made their way across the pond. What has this exhibition standing apart from previous Basquiat exhibitions is that it is the first to focus on the artist’s relationship to music, text, film and television. This exhibition also features the first body of work ever exhibited by the artist which was conceived for Diego Cortez’s watershed group show New York / New Waveat PS1 in 1981. The exhibition dates: September 21-January 28 2018. Find more information here: barbican.org.

House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth House

This fashion exhibition celebrates the style of the Cavendish family, including member Bess of Hardwick, one of the most illustrious ladies of Tudor England. As well as the 18th century “Empress of Fashion” Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Also, Adele Astaire (the sister and dance partner of Fred Astaire) and sisters Nancy Mitford and Deborah Devonshire.

The exhibition aims to “give visitors the opportunity to see the story of Chatsworth. Seen through the styles and fashions of the people who have lived and stayed there,” according to Sally Ambrose, Chatsworth’s Head of Visitor Services and Marketing. Features pieces include coronation robes, antique fancy-dress costumes and rare Givenchy couture pieces favoured by Deborah Devonshire. Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, says this about Chatsworth: “It is unlike anywhere else in the world. A place full of charm, history and rituals. It is a piece of England, of Europe and the contemporary world, all at the same time. You can see history everywhere, yet everything is alive.” Gucci has partnered with Chatsworth House and is featuring this program as part of their support in the historical home’s cultural program for the next three years. The exhibitions dates: March 25-October 22. Find more information here: chatsworth.org.

Margiela: The Hermès Years at MoMu, Antwerp

Martin Marginal was named creative director of Hermès in October 1997. During this time he brought his flair and innovative concepts to the Parisian fashion house. The ModeMuseum, a fashion museum in Antwerp, Belgium, has curated the bold innovations Marginal brought forth during his years at the fashion house. The selection will include game-changing and revolutionary designs from the designer’s 12 collections for the house. Some of these pieces were made from recycled materials. Although this concept is embraced by many modern designers today, at the time of Marginal, this was an unheard-of idea and silly groundbreaking. The exhibition dates:  March 31-August 27. Find out more information here: Momu.be.

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