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5 Must-See Fashion Exhibitions in London 2015

5 Must-See Fashion Exhibitions in London 2015

Picture of Clementina Calderini Jackson
Updated: 19 December 2016
Fashion lovers visiting London this year are in for a real treat as the capital puts on an exciting array of fashion exhibitions that are not to be missed. From the hotly-anticipated Alexander McQueen retrospective, to the Design Museum’s exploration of the link between women, fashion and power, this year’s fashion exhibitions in London offer much more than just beautiful displays of clothes.

Guy Bourdin: Image Maker at Somerset House

Until 15 March 2015

The largest exhibition of Guy Bourdin’s work ever to come to the UK follows the iconic 20th century French fashion photographer’s 40-year career and features over 100 of his works. Starting off as the protégé of artist Man Ray in the 1950s, Bourdin rapidly became famous for his provocative editorial and advertising photographs which, heavily influenced by surrealism, completely changed the face of fashion photography. This new exhibition displays many of the bold, colourful photographs featured in the pages of Vogue Paris for which he was so well-known, as well as his black-and-white photography, Polaroids, and other previously unseen material. The range of work on display gives visitors insight into what lay behind such an exceptional career.

Somerset House, Strand, London, UK +44 207 845 4600

 

Jellyfish ensemble and Armadillo shoes, Alexander McQueen Plato's Atlantis, S/S 2010, Model: Polina Kasina ©Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE
Jellyfish ensemble and Armadillo shoes, Alexander McQueen Plato’s Atlantis, S/S 2010, Model: Polina Kasina ©Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum

14 March – 19 July 2015

One of the most exciting fashion events to come to London in 2015 is the unveiling of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s retrospective of late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, an exhibition that has the fashion world buzzing. Born and bred in London, McQueen was known as the enfant terrible of British fashion due to his penchant for controversy, rebellious acts, and shock tactics.His influence on fashion was so profound that Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman named him the most brilliant designer of his generation. The exhibition will showcase Alexander McQueen’s incredible talent for creating unique, exquisite, and outrageous pieces in his body of work, spanning from his 1992 MA Graduate collection to the poignantly unfinished A/W 2010 collection that was presented after his suicide. The original 2011 exhibition in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art was the most popular fashion exhibition in history, so don’t miss out on the chance to see it in London.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK +44 207 942 2000

 

Evening Shoe, Beaded silk & leather, 1959-60 Roger Vivier for Christian Dior © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Evening Shoe, Beaded silk & leather, 1959-60 Roger Vivier for Christian Dior © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at the Victoria and Albert Museum

13 June 2015- 31 January 2016

Another exhibition to look forward to this summer in London is Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at the Victoria and Albert Museum, an exhibition which promises to display over 200 pairs of both male and female shoes spanning from circa 30 BCE all the way up to Spring/Summer 2015. The exhibition will look at the cultural significance of shoes from around the world as well as examine trends and technological developments that have led to the ever-higher heels and dramatic, extreme footwear of recent times. The displays will provide visitors not only with a rich history of shoes but also, of course, some stunning pieces of design and craftsmanship to lust after. Masterpieces by iconic footwear designers including Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Dior will all be on display, alongside special highlights including an ancient Egyptian sandal delicately decorated in gold leaf, the famous red ballet slippers from the 1948 film The Red Shoes and the Vivienne Westwood blue platform heels Naomi Campbell was wearing when she infamously fell in 1993.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK +44 207 942 2000

 

Skin, Designer: Keko Hainswheeler, Photographer: Danny Payne
Skin, Designer: Keko Hainswheeler, Photographer: Danny Payne

Women Fashion Power at the Design Museum

Until 26 April 2015

The Design Museum’s latest exhibition explores the way in which female fashion has evolved in the past 150 years, and how women in the spheres of politics, business, fashion, and culture have used fashion to define and enhance their positions. 25 high-profile women from different fields have donated outfits and shared their personal style philosophies, including Diane von Furstenberg, HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Anne Hidalgo Mayor of Paris, and Joan Burnstein, founder of Browns. This “celebration of exceptional women”, as co-curator Donna Loveday puts it, also features iconic pieces such as a 1966 Le Smoking suit by Yves Saint Laurent, one of Margaret Thatcher’s suits, restrictive boned corsets from the 19th century, as well as accompanying talks about power dressing in different cultures.

Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London, UK +44 207 940 8790

 

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Until 15 March 2015

Already hugely popular since its opening, be sure to visit the Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum before it closes in March. Spread chronologically over two floors, the collection is made up of a plethora of stunning bridal wear and accessories which chart the development and trends of wedding attire from 1775 to the present day. The vast collection includes royal gowns, including the one worn by the Duchess of Cornwall, famous celebrity gowns worn by the likes of Kate Moss, Gwen Stefani, and Dita Von Tesse, as well as lesser-known older gowns which are equally impressive with their elaborate details and remarkable craftsmanship. Also interesting to pay attention to is the social commentary which the exhibition provides by linking trends with historical events, social change, and personal details about the wearers of these dresses.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK +44 207 942 2000