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Fashion exhibitions not to miss this summer

If the beach is not for you, here's a good alternative

Fashion exhibitions not to miss this summer  If the beach is not for you, here's a good alternative

The holidays stuck on the beach under the sun are not for you?

Are you the type of person who always wants to go around and visit museums? Here are the most interesting fashion exhibitions to see in Europe this summer.


Rei Kawakubo/COMME des GARÇONS: Art of the In-Between

Where: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

When: Until September 4, 2017

What: Do you know the Met Gala 2017 aka the most glamorous event on the international scene? Well, though most people only remember the marvelous clothes of Katy Perry, Rihanna and co., that star-rich evening was the inauguration of an exhibition dedicated to revolutionary Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo. Rei Kawakubo / COMME des GARÇONS: The Art of the In-Between is the occasion to discover the work of this iconic fashion artist, peering over about 150 outfits made by COMME des GARÇONS from the early 1980s to today.

Asymmetrical, sculptural and radical dresses that embrace imperfection and irregularity have made Kawakubo a key figure of the last 40 years.

The exhibition path does not develop chronologically, but divides the woman’s work into eight rooms, eight recurring themes in her stylistic code: Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject e Clothes/Not Clothes.

Through this technique, the exhibition explores the plurality of Rei’s aesthetic language and, above all, the concept of “In-Between” as a space between the boundaries of what can and what cannot be defined.

A curiosity: the COMME des GARÇONS designer is the second creative to which the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted a living monographic exhibition, for the first time, in 1983, the honor was reserved only to Yves Saint Laurent.


Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

Where: Victoria & Albert Museum, London

When: Until February 18, 2018

What: “Only Balenciaga is a real couturier”. Words of Coco Chanel. And, if she said so, can you believe it.

The highly-perquisite and perfectionist, the couturier born in Getaria in the Basque Country, has become legendary for his revolutionary shapes such as the envelope dress, a tube with the four corners stuck on the neckline; the sack dress, a simple tunic in black crepe lifeless with eight buttons; the Chou Noir, silk gazar hoods with a huge crunch on the face; the balloon skirts; kimono coats; the study on the sleeves which he declined in every possible form: puffy, bat, raglan, balloon ...

Its sophisticated, timeless style, but also his aesthetic heritage, are now celebrated at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in an exhibition entitled Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion.

Here, divided into three areas (Front of House, Workrooms and Balenciaga’s Legacy), you can see over 100 pieces made by the couturier, along with various sketches, photographs, movie footage and fabric samples. Among the most interesting objects are unique garments made by Balenciaga for the actress Ava Gardner, suits and hats fashion icon of the sixties Gloria Guinness and an entire wardrobe made for Mona von Bismarck, one of the richest women in the world.

In the last sector, Balenciaga’s Legacy, the focus is on contemporary designers that re-elaborate the vision of Monsieur Cristobal, from Azzedine Alaïa to Demna Gvasalia.


Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams 

Where: Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris

When: until January 7, 2018

What: 3,000 square meters, over 300 high fashion masterpieces to celebrate 70 years.

These are just some of the numbers of Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams, Paris tribute to the historic French Maison and one of the greatest retrospectives ever devoted to a fashion designer. Curated by Nathalie Crinière, Florence Müller and Olivier Gabet, the exhibition combines a selection of hundreds of designs designed from 1947 to today, hats, jewelry, handbags, shoes, sketches, fabrics, fragrances, photographs, letters, advertising, illustrations and objects of art belonging to Dior that influenced his work as works by Claude Monet and Man Ray.

The halls of the Les Arts Décoratifs Musée trace Dior's story from Monsieur Christian to a young and introverted student named Yves Saint Laurent, who has been under the reign of Marc Bohan at Baroque fashion in Ferrène for the past twenty years, John Galliano’s punk attitude to extreme minimalism by Raf Simons, up to Maria Grazia Chiuri, first woman creative director of the Maison.


Margiela – The Hermes Years 

Where: Modemuseum “MoMu” Antwerp 

When: Until August 27, 2017

What: From 1997 to 2003 Martin Margiela was the designer responsible for 12 Hermès’s ready-to-wear female collections.

It is the consolidation of a revolution started with MMM, based on deconstruction, recycling, transformation, and reinterpretation; Made of unconventional garments and unpacked garments, logo packs and labels, blanketed models, no-gender shapes and ostentatious use of white.

All contemporary designers from Jacquemus to J.W. Anderson or Demna Gvasalia owe much to the aesthetics of this legendary artist.

Now, eight years after the fashion designer’s withdrawal from the fashion business, the MoMu Antwerp analyzes his creativity through a comparison of the work done for his brand and the one made for the famous French Maison.

A curiosity: do you know how Margiela has ended up working for Hermès? It was Sandrine Dumas, daughter of Jean Louis Dumas-Hermès family, who had modeled for the designer to suggest the man as creative director of Hermès women’s collections in place of Claude Brouet he was going to leave this place.


Is Fashion Modern?

Where: MoMA, New York

When: Until January 28, 2018

What: In 1944 MoMA hosted Are Clothes Modern?, an exhibition that questioned the direction that fashion would take in the future. 73 years after the New York museum repeat the same questions with Items: Fashion Is Modern?.

How to find an answer? Combining sociology, anthropology, and communication to try to figure out exactly how much a garment or an accessory is able to shape not only time, but what we are, the way we dress and think.

From Levi’s 501 to the petite robe noir, from the Casio watch to the white T-shirt MoMA collects 99 pieces that "have had a strong impact on history and society in the 20th and 21st centuries, and that continue to hold currency today".

Probably one of the most interesting exhibitions of this 2017.


The World of Anna Sui

Where: Fashion & Textile Museum, London

When: Until October 1st

What: Anna Sui with her irreverent style mixing pop, rock, romance, surfer, and hippies, loved by stars like Courtney Love, Cher, Naomi Campbell or Sofia Coppola is the subject of one of the exhibitions that can be visited in London this summer.

With more than 100 looks and other material, the retrospective, the first ever devoted to an American designer ever organized in the UK, traces Anna’s parable since playing fashionable in her childhood bedroom between pieces of fabric, magazines clippings and dolls to studies at the Parsons School; from the opening of the first boutique in 1992 to the success of today.


Musées Yves Saint Laurent

Where: Paris & Marrakech

When: coming Autumn 2017

What: Not just a show, but two new museums dedicated to the French couturier. The Pierre Bergé Foundation - Yves Saint Laurent has found the perfect place to store 40 years of couturier creations, over 5,000 high fashion dresses, 15,000 accessories and tens of thousands of sketches, collections, photographs, and so on.

Both projects will open in the fall of 2017, one in Paris at the historic address of the maison, 5th Avenue of Avenue Marceau (16th arrondissement), the other in Marrakech near the Majorelle garden, also owned by Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé.