It's All Happening in 2013

Exhibitions in the New York area:

The Museum at FIT presents:aaaa

Retrospective, our latest Fashion & Textile History Gallery rotation that explores how designers embrace looking back at fashion history as a fundamental part of the design process. Closes November 16.

From Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, many of the greatest fashion designers of the past century have been gay. A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk explores the history of modern fashion through the lens of gay and lesbian life and culture, addressing subjects including androgyny, dandyism, idealizing and transgressive aesthetic styles, and the influence of subcultural and street styles, including drag, leather, and uniforms.  Opens September 13.

Anna SuiAnna Sui, ensemble, floral embroidered blue and gold shot silk taffeta, velvet, cord, beaded denim, 1999-2000, USA, gift of Anna Sui.

Depictions of bodies in outer space have appeared in jewelry since ancient times. The influence of the space race beginning in the late 1950s had a major impact on jewelry design and continues to do so today. Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age at the Forbes Gallery traces space images in jewelry from the Georgian period through today and includes fine and costume jewelry from the 1960s through the present. Through September 7, 2013.  

""Pat Cleveland in Burrows, 1972. Photograph by Charles Tracy. The Museum of the City of New York presents Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced, an examination of the work of the designer The New York Times called in 1977 the “brightest star of American fashion.” It looks at the period spanning the 1970s when Stephen Burrows’ meteoric rise to fame made him not only the first African-American designer to gain international stature, but a celebrated fashion innovator whose work helped define the look of a generation. Photographs, drawings, and original garments trace Burrows’ evolution from creating eclectic looks for his friends in the 1960s to his work with the chic 57th Street retailer Henri Bendel to the floor of Studio 54, as he dressed such 70s style icons as Cher, Liza Minnelli, and Diana Ross. (Includes objects from the collection of MFIT!) On view til September 8, 2013.

Artist and designer Camilla Huey was particularly drawn to Aaron Burr, a resident of the Morris-Jumel Mansion from 1832-1835, and to the many women who influenced his personal and political life. The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Corsetry & Binding consists of seven custom-made, free-standing corsets that behave as “portraits” appropriate to the subject’s time and stature. The artworks personify these remarkable women in an unprecedented ode to history, fashion, feminism and the written word. On view through September 12th, 2013

Featuring over 450 pieces of fashion jewelry by designers such as Miriam Haskell, Marcel Boucher, Balenciaga, Kenneth Jay Lane, and Gripoix, Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger at the MAD Museum is an eye-opening display of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, many of them one-of-a-kind, drawn from the world-renowned collection of Barbara Berger, the daughter of an American diamond merchant. Until September 22, 2013.

An American Look: Fashion, Decorative Arts & Gustav Stickley is a unique exhibition that, for the first time, examines the influence of an Arts & Crafts aesthetic in American fashion during the early 20th century. At the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY until September 22, 2013.

Shanghai Glamour at The Museum of Chinese in America explores how Shanghai women and their fashionable dress epitomized the seduction and mystery of this legendary city as it was modernizing in the early 20th century. Shanghai was established as a treaty port in the nineteenth century and became a major modern metropolis by the 1920s, internationally known as “the Paris of the East.” (Includes objects from the collection of MFIT!) Through September 29, 2013.

Also at The Museum of Chinese in America is Front Row: Chinese American Designers, an exhibition that traces and celebrates the rise of Chinese American designers who decided to make their marks in New York. Runs until September 29, 2013.

The Brooklyn Museum presents The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. Gaultier has shaped the look of fashion over the last 35 years with his avant-garde creations and cutting-edge designs. This international exhibition of the celebrated and famed French couturier's work provides a spectacular overview of his extensive oeuvre. Initiated and produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier-Paris, the exhibition brings to life the world of Gaultier and gives a unique opportunity to visitors to have access to haute couture, stage and movie costumes. On view October 25 to December 29, 2013.

Also at the MAD Museum is Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, an exhibition exploring the many areas of 21st-century creativity made possible by advanced methods of computer-assisted production known as digital fabrication. From sculptural fantasy to functional beauty, Out of Hand examines the pioneering works of more than 80 international artists, architects, and designers, including Ron Arad, Barry X Ball, Zaha Hadid, Stephen Jones, Anish Kapoor, Allan McCollum, Marc Newson, and Roxy Paine. Represented will be some of the most compelling creations from the past decade ranging from sculpture and furniture to fashion and transport. On view September 3, 2013 to July 6, 2014.

MAD museumMarc Newson, Doudou necklace by
Boucheron, 2009

Designer tributes:

""Laura Ashley printed dresses and smocks, in the summer rain, on Cheyne Walk / Chelsea Embankment, 1970s. Copyright: Laura Ashley Ltd.

To honor the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Laura Ashley label, the Fashion Museum in Bath, U.K. celebrates the vision of the romantic heroine that Laura Ashley gave to fashion in the 1960s and 1970s -- a look that fashion editor Felicity Green, referred to in the Daily Mirror in 1970 as ‘soft-core femininity’ and ‘Victorian type demureness.’ By the tail end of the Swinging Sixties the bright and shiny bubble of optimism had burst and so designers found inspiration, and comfort, in nostalgia for times gone by. Laura Ashley: The Romantic Heroine focuses on the dresses that caught the imagination and chimed with the zeitgeist. Through August 26, 2013. 

Zandra Rhodes Unseen presents a rare opportunity to explore the archive, studio and creative process of one of the world’s most distinctive designers. This exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London combines lesser-known fashion collections with more familiar designs drawn from a prolific career. Until August 31, 2013.

The NRW-Forum Düsseldorf presents the exhibition Alaïa. Azzedine Ala?a in the 21st century, a display of Alaïa fashion creations of the last ten years. Each room in the exhibition will focus on a different material that Azzedine Alaïa has consistently used over the past decade: velvet, fur, wool, leather, cotton, animal skins, chiffon and knitwear. Through September 8, 2013.

The Design Exchange, in Toronto celebrates the iconic French shoe designer Christian Louboutin with an exhibition (curated by The Design Museum London) that covers twenty years of designs and inspiration, revealing the artistry and theatricality of his shoe design from stilettos to lace-up boots, studded sneakers and bejeweled pumps. On view until September 15, 2013.

Mounted in Villa Les Rhumbs in Granville, where Christian Dior spent his childhood, Impressions Dior attempts to show how this couturier's designs were partially linked to the Impressionist movement. Christian Dior's fashions and photographs of his garden reveal the extent to which Dior was aware of the natural environment and the themes of light and reflections, just as the Impressionist painters had been. Runs until September 22, 2013.

While it's coming to Brooklyn in Ocotber, The Swedish Center for Architecture and Design, formerly Arkitekturmuseet presents The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk until September 22, 2013.

Over the last three decades, Walter Van Beirendonck has built up an impressive international career. He can be seen as a maverick of Antwerp fashion and is primarily known for his colourful collections, spectacular Paris fashion shows in the 1990s, his innovative W.&L.T. label and the wide range of images of the body that he has brought to the catwalks. Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the World Awake is presented at RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne, Australia, having debuted at the Antwerp Fashion Museum in 2011. Through October 5, 2013. 

Bellville Sassoon has been synonymous with high fashion for over 50 years. As Britain’s foremost couture label from the 1960s onwards, founder Belinda Bellville with designers David Sassoon and Lorcan Mullany, dressed many of the world’s most stylish women, including Diana, Princess of Wales. The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon traces the history of British glamour from the couture houses of the late 1950s, to the celebrities who became clients of the company. It also explores the influence of ready-to-wear and Vogue patterns. At the Fashion and Textile Museum in London from September 20 until January 11, 2014.

Belinda BellvilleBelinda Bellville and David Sassoon with model, 1967. Photo credit: Women's Wear Daily, 25 May 1967.
Eddie Lau's pioneering success in fashion and image design both locally and abroad is such that he is rightly regarded as a modern-day Hong Kong legend. He was the first Hong Kong designer to give solo fashion shows in China. The Hong Kong Heritage Museum presents Fashion.Image.Eddie Lau, a solo exhibition of Lau's work, which includes more than 20 stage costumes specially created for Cantopop superstar Anita Mui and runs until January 13, 2014.

This autumn, Somerset House in London, in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins, is proud to present Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, a major fashion exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and wardrobe of the late British patron of fashion and art. The exhibition will run from November 20, 2013 to March 2, 2014.

November 15 to March 9, 2014 The Design Museum in London takes you into the world of fashion designer Paul Smith, a world of creation, inspiration, collaboration, wit and beauty. Celebrating his career to date and exploring future developments, Hello, My Name is Paul Smith references the designer’s influences and designs, charting the rise of this quintessentially English label which has become one of the leading fashion brands in the world.

The fashion designer Dries Van Noten  has been invited to illuminate his world and creative vision through use of his collections and those of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, France. As a first step in this process, 19th Century prints selected from the Museum’s archives by Dries Van Noten have been replicated and applied to garments of his collection for Men for his spring/summer 2014, unveiled on June 27th 2013 during the Paris Collections. The exhibition runs February 28 - August 31, 2014.

All the World's a Stage:

David Bowie isStriped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973. Design by Kansai Yamamoto. Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita.
© Sukita The David Bowie Archive 2012.
London's V&A Museum presents David Bowie is, a major retrospective exploring the creative processes of Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon, tracing his shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades. More than 300 objects on view include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, musical instruments and album artwork. Also included are Ziggy Stardust costumes designed by Freddie Burretti in 1972; costumes from the 1973 Aladdin Sane tour, designed by Kansai Yamamoto; and Bowie and Alexander McQueen’s collaborative Union Jack coat, as worn on the 1997 Earthling cover. Drool. Through July 28, 2013.

The Ballets Russes—the most innovative dance company of the 20th century—propelled the performing arts to new heights through groundbreaking collaborations between artists, composers,
choreographers, dancers, and fashion designers. Showcasing more than 130 original costumes, set designs, paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs, and posters, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: When Art Danced with Music at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., also incorporates film clips in a theatrical multimedia installation. On view until October 6, 2013.

The V&A Museum continues its fashion offerings with From Club to Catwalk, an exhibition exploring the creative explosion of London fashion in the 1980s. It shows the creative relationship between catwalk and club wear, and the emerging theatricality in fashion, reflected in magazines such as i-D and Blitz. The display includes outfits made specifically to be worn at clubs such as Heaven and Taboo, creations designed and worn by the flamboyant clubber Leigh Bowery, glamorous dresses designed specifically for men, studded biker outfits by Pam Hogg and Katharine Hamnett, customised denim jackets by Vivienne Westwood and Richmond Cornejo and exuberant knitwear by Joseph, Artwork and Bodymap.On view until February 16, 2014

Fashioning identity

Travel back in time and discover remarkable objects that illuminate the life, culture, and pageantry of these revered and feared Japanese warriors—from one of the best and largest collections in the world. Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection at MFA Boston features the extraordinary artistry of the armor used by samurai—the military elite led by the shoguns, or warlords, of Japan from the 12th through 19th centuries. Runs until August 4, 2013.

While we usually think of military uniforms, a uniform is really just a distinctive outfit that identifies a group and helps bind them together. Uniformly Dressed at the Charleston Museum focuses on all types of uniforms, including diplomatic, school, volunteer, sports and military groups. Through August 11, 2013.
""Fireman's coat, c. 1880, Charleston Museum.

Whether extravagant or frugal, traditional or fashion-forward, the story behind a bride’s dress has much to tell us about her life as well as our common culture. A symbol of love and commitment, the wedding dress personifies girlhood fantasies, a moment of transition, a performance of cultural values. Behind the Veil: Brides and Their Dresses explores how brides over the past 100 years have chosen their wedding dresses, and how their decisions are shaped by fashion, family, and finances. On view at the American Textile History Museum, Lowell, MA, until August 11, 2013.

The RISD Museum in Providence, RI, celebrates the dandy, tracing the variety of ways in which this personality has blazed through two centuries and investigating where he resides today. Rather than following strict definitions, Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion features myriad manifestations of the dandy’s style and persona, from the discreet sophistication and consummate elegance of Beau Brummell (1778–1840) to the romantics and revolutionaries of today—including Rick Owens, Patti Smith, Ouigi Theodore, and Waris Ahluwalia. (Includes objects from the collection of MFIT!) On view through August 18, 2013.

During the years historians call the Progressive Era, American women took on many new roles and activities, and fashion had to follow. Active lives required practical clothes. Fashioning the New Woman: 1890-1925 examines the changes in women’s lives and clothing during this critical period in women’s history. At the DAR Museum in Washington D.C. until August 31, 2013.

Ann Bonfoey Taylor (1910–2007) created a life that personifies what an American woman can be—Olympic skier, championship tennis player, licensed pilot, successful skiwear designer, skilled sportswoman—but above all, she was a style icon. Fashion Independent: The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor, organized by Dennita Sewell, curator of fashion design at Phoenix Art Museum, showcases the custom-made wardrobe of day and evening wear that Taylor assembled from the post–World War II era through the 1970s. At the Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, Georgia). Through September 14, 2013.

In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion explores the sumptuous costume of British monarchs and their court during the 16th and 17th centuries through portraits in the Royal Collection. During this period fashion was central to court life and was an important way to display social status. Royalty and the elite were the tastemakers of the day, often directly influencing the styles of fashionable clothing. At Buckingham Palace in London until October 6, 2013.

Through October 6, 2013, the McCord Museum in Montreal, Quebec presents From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly - Beyond the Icon. With its spotlight on her personality, talent and values, the exhibition presents the woman behind the celebrity and trace her extraordinary life journey through some 100 objects and archives, testimonials, love letters, notes of friendship, photos, film clips and above all clothing and accessories from designers who helped shape fashion in the 20th century.

The end of the 1960s and early 1970s was an exciting time for fashion as the counterculture’s challenges to authority expressed itself in new ways of thinking about dress. The emerging hippie culture rejected the dictates of Paris haute couture, adopting instead an eclectic, highly individual look, mixing vintage and ethnic clothing with fashions inspired by contemporary psychedelic Pop art, nature, fantasy, and ethnographic art. For the first time, trends percolated up from the streets to affect ready to wear and even haute couture. Hippie Chic celebrates the designs of innovative boutiques and young designers and includes about 50 ensembles. (Includes objects from the collection of MFIT!) At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston through November 11, 2013.

Frida KahloFrida Kahlo arriving in New York, 1938.

Frida Kahlo has long intrigued both fashion designers and art-lovers, with her distinct look, tragic life and heart-stopping self-portraits. A deeper glimpse into her life and style is revealed in Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo at the Museo Frida Kalho, her former home in Mexico City.  Her closets are opened for the first time since her death in 1954, unveiling over 300 items from her wardrobe, as well as a number of strangely elegant prosthetic limbs and orthopedic corsets. Also included are a variety of garments inspired by Kahlo, by designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Ricardo Tisci and Rei Kawakubo. The exhibit runs through November 2013.

This autumn, Somerset House, in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins, presents Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, a major fashion exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and wardrobe of the late British patron of fashion and art. From November 20, 2013 to March 2, 2014.

Most of the prints in the exhibit Beauty, Virtue and Vice: Images of Women in Nineteenth-Century American Prints were designed simply to please the eye, but they are also useful to historians who would like to understand how nineteenth-century Americans thought about the world in which they lived. Prints can be extremely useful for understanding the history of popular ideas, understandings, and beliefs. When read carefully and conscientiously, prints can be very useful documentary sources for understanding the past. This permanent online exhibition is hosted by the American Antiquarian Society.

Unraveling Textiles:

During the 1950s and 1960s, the couturiers Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Cristóbal Balenciaga all worked together with the Swiss firm, Abraham, for their exclusive  fabrics. This company was specialized in printing silks. Today, the Abraham archives, an impressive collection of sample books, couture photographs and textiles, are housed at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive. COUTURE IN COLOUR tells both the story of the Abraham company and that of European couture, art and luxury throughout the 20th century. Runs until August 11, 2013, at MoMu in Antwerp, Belgium. ""

The Charleston Museum presents Indigo: Natural Blue Dye in the Lowcountry, a small, focused exhibit that explores a brief history of the cultivation and production of indigo, Eliza Lucas Pinckney’s important role and its curious dyeing procedure, along with examples of indigo-dyed textiles. Ranging from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, these include clothing and household goods which are examples of vatted indigo dyeing, “china blue” printing and blue “penciling,” revealing indigo’s vast complexities and allure. Open through September 2, 2013.

The Denver Art Museum takes a wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography in the campus-wide exhibition Spun: Adventures in Textiles. Through September 22, 2013. Of note is the gallery featuring Pattern Play: The Contemporary Designs of Jacqueline Groag, which focuses on a textile designer who began by working for couturiers such as Lanvin and Schiaparelli but after immigrating to England in 1939, she switched gears and focused on Britain's post-World War II mass market, which exploded with color and pattern.

The Color Revolution: Fashion and Fabrics, 1960-1975 explores the new dyes, fibers, and designs of the fertile post-World War II period and helps visitors understand how technology and design support each other. On view September 14, 2013 until January 26, 2014 at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA.

Click or Draw:

The exhibition FACELESS part I at freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL/MQ in Vienna, Austria presents contemporary works of art and fashion in which faces are hidden, transformed or masked. FACELESS takes a radical look at this fairly recent phenomenon of everyday media culture and shows how it manifests in visual art, fashion, photography, advertising, and dance. Part I is open until August 18. Part II opens September 27, 2013.
"" Berlin-born photographer Erwin Blumenfeld (1897–1969) was one of the most internationally sought-after portrait and fashion photographers in the 1940s and 1950s. Blumenfeld Studio: New York, 1941–1960 focuses on the little-known history of his photography studio at 222 Central Park South in New York. Around 100 colour photographs and originals of Erwin Blumenfeld’s works in fashion magazines provide insights into this key artistic phase in his life. At the Somerset House, London through September 1, 2013.

Take a new look at the 1970s through the lens of a Federal photography project called Project DOCUMERICA. Photographers hired by the EPA took thousands of color photographs depicting pollution, waste, and blight, but they were given the freedom to also capture the era’s trends, fashions, and cultural shifts. Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project is an amazing archive and a fascinating portrait of America from 1972 to 1977. At the National Archives in D.C. until September 8, 2013.

The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles presents Helmut Newton: White Women • Sleepless Nights • Big Nudes, a selection of works by the revolutionary fashion photographer from his first three books. On view until September 8, 2013.

The main motif of Mats Gustafson's drawings over the past thirty years has been the constantly changing world of fashion. Fashion changes with the regularity of the seasons. New collections see the light of day at an ever-increasing pace and, just like the rest of the world, the context has become more global. Within fashion there is a vitalising movement from the pulse of the big city streets and clubs to the salons of haute couture -  an influence that also works the other way around. Fashion, Figures, Faces: Mats Gustafson is at the Millesgården in Lidingö, Sweden until September 22, 2013. 

George Eastman House in Rochester, NY is proud to present The Gender Show, an exhibition that explores ways gender has been presented in photographs, ranging from archetypal to non-traditional to subversive representations, with a special emphasis on the performances that photography can encourage or capture. Through September 29, 2013.

Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me, a retrospective of the photographer's work, includes large-scale photographic prints from throughout his career including previously unpublished material as well as hand-drawn story-boards, drawings, polaroids and magazines, offering an  intimate insight into Aldridge’s point of view and process. Women and colour are Aldridge’s twin obsessions.   His work is filled with glamorous, beautiful women from dazed housewives and decadent beauties to sunbathing sexpots and ecstatic Virgins. At Somerset House in London until September 29, 2013.

To coincide with the launch of the autumn art season, Berlin based Gallery WAGNER + PARTNER opens Erwin Olaf - Homage to Berlin, a solo exhibition of the renowned Dutch photographer. Runs from September 6 to October 19, 2013. "" 
Maverick photographer Corinne Day passed away from a brain tumour three years ago but, her husband Mark Szaszy has been helping to bring May The Circle Remain Unbroken to fruition. The show charts Corinne's early work. Later, her world would collide with the early 90s counterculture music scene of the US. The era of grunge was born and like Kurt Cobain, Corinne was trying to capture an aesthetic that was raw and poetic. Her photographs, the visual equivalent to their music she forged great relationships with many of the bands and continued to work with what she loved. At Gimpel Fils gallery, London October 15 to November 23, 2013.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Few artists or authors are better known than Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. Yet to this day, very few people know about his hidden hat collection. A special exhibition, Hats Off to Dr. Seuss!, celebrates the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's 1938 book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. For the first time, Audrey Geisel (Dr. Seuss's widow) has generously allowed an eye-popping selection of Dr. Seuss's hats to leave the legendary hat closet at Seuss House. These hats will travel the country and visit select venues throughout 2013. They are on view at Legends Fine Art in San Diego/La Jolla, CA until August 4, 2013.

""Image (c) Kuhlmann Studio.

A translucent raincoat made of seal intestines. An artfully sewn vest of crocodile skin. A chic evening gown of rubber-coated thread. Lovers of art, style, and history alike will revel in the exhibition Fashion and The Field Museum Collection: Maria Pinto. This thoughtful presentation showcases clothing masterworks from the Museum’s collections, selected by esteemed Chicago fashion designer Maria Pinto. These works are presented in tandem with contemporary pieces created by Pinto herself and displayed exclusively at The Field Museum. On view through August 18, 2013.

The Hats Off! exhibition at the McCord Museum in Montreal, Quebec, presents 80 hats of a wide variety of purposes and styles, showcasing this clothing accessory that was long a wardrobe staple in Quebec, particularly between the 1920s and 1970s. Open through August 18, 2013.

The tremendous innovation of Japanese fashion designers who have revolutionized the way we think of fashion today will be shown for the first time in Seattle at SAM. The leading Japanese designers who initially gained recognition in the West were Kenzo Takada and Issey Miyake in the 1970s, but it is in the 1980s that Japanese designers emerged with an entirely new aesthetic. Curated by Akiko Fukai, director of the Kyoto Costume Institute, Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion showcases the early emphasis on light and shadow, and the increasingly diverse ultramodern designs that range from the deconstruction and reinvention of Western couture models to wildly revolutionary designs that draw from contemporary street fashion. On view until September 8, 2013.

It is not often, that jewelry is what comes to mind, when the citizens of Copenhagen pass by graffiti painted park benches and trash bins in the streets. But in the exhibition From the Coolest Corner – Nordic Jewellery at Designmuseum Danmark (Copenhagen, Denmark) a park bench and a trash bin is exactly what can be seen as brooches, birch wood trunks have been transformed into rings and metal wire has become pendants. Open until September 15, 2013.

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at the Art Institute of Chicago through September 22, 2013 examines the relationship between art and fashion from the mid-1860s through mid-1880s as Paris became the style capital of the world. Featuring 75 major figure paintings alongside many period costumes and fashion plates, this stylish show presents a new perspective on the Impressionists—revealing how these early avant-garde artists embraced fashion trends as they sought to capture modern life on canvas.
""Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Loge, 1874. The Courtauld Gallery, London, The Samuel Courtauld Trust, P.1948.SC.338.

The defining characteristic of any fashion period is the shape of the silhouette. Why silhouettes have often had so little to do with the shape of the human body is one of the mysteries of fashion. It is influenced by economic, political and social circumstances as well as attitudes toward sexuality and the ever-present desire for novelty. Undress: Shaping Fashion and Private Life includes not only the garments that give the body structure and shape, but also garments worn at night, at home and in informal situations. At Kent State University Museum until October 20, 2013.

Fans are among the earliest accessories because they perform a critical function. But far from purely functional, fans became highly ornamented and beautiful and over the centuries and across continents, a number of different basic forms of fans developed. Fandemonium, at the Kent State University Museum until November 17, 2013, explores different shapes and styles, from hand-painted rococo designs of the eighteenth century to celluloid, art deco pieces from the twentieth century.

Behind The Seams: An Indiscreet Look At The Mechanics of Fashion explores the ‘underworld’ of female and male undergarments such as the fly, the pannier, the corset, the crinoline, the bustle, the pouf, the stomach belt, the bra and other vestimentary devices fashioning the body by means of whalebones, hoops and cushions according to the changing dictates of fashion. Runs until November 24, 2013 at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, France.

The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada goes BIG with an exhibition that showcases textiles and costume that are each in their own remarkable ways BIG… BIG in size, BIG in historical importance, BIG in the news, perhaps created by a BIG name, and often carrying a BIG price tag. 40 objects–both historical and contemporary–showcase BIG from around the world. They range from Egyptian clothing to 18th- and 19th-century Western costumes to 20th-century Haute Couture. Some have never before been on display. Through Fall 2013

Fifty Fabulous Frocks, at the Fashion Museum in Bath, U.K., includes a gorgeous gold embroidered Georgian court dress and a delicate 1870s gauze bustle day dress edged with purple fringing and redolent of the paintings of Tissot alongside a slinky jersey evening dress by Ossie Clark and a classic chic Chanel suit.  Also featured are many of the iconic and influential names of 20th century couture - Schiaparelli, Poiret, Vionnet, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent – as well as today’s most desired fashion designers and brands -  Erdem, Burberry, John Rocha. This display shows both the richness of the museum collection as well as key moments in fashion history that continue to provide inspiration for modern day designers along with TV and film makers - think Downton Abbey, The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina. On through the end of 2013.

Fashionistas won’t want to miss In Vogue: A Runway of Vintage Fashion at the Fairfield Museum and History Center, in Fairfield CT. It features the fashion-forward women of Fairfield throughout the Colonial, Regency, Edwardian and Victorian Eras from 1780 to 1920. The pieces on exhibit are pulled directly from the Museum’s 100-year-old collection — one of the most comprehensive in Western Connecticut — highlighting fashion trends of the past such as cage hoop skirts, bustles and gigot sleeves so large a woman could barely turn their heads. January 5, 2014.

The Museum Joanneum in Graz, Austria invites you to Step up, please! Shoes with stories to tell. On view through January 12, 2014.

The Fashion Museum of Hasselt (Belgium) presents Moda. Made in Italy. Various thematic lines will illustrate the extraordinary but complex history of Italian fashion. Starting point is the post World War II period, when the Florentine businessman Giovanni Battista Giorgini decided to organize shows to promote Italian fashion, at that time primarily renowned for its accessories. From June 20, 2013 to February 8, 2014. 

Pleating is one of the most basic fabric treatments as it serves to create three-dimensional clothing out of two-dimensional cloth. Box, inverted, kick, knife, sunburst, accordion, cartridge, tuck…Pretty Pleats highlights many of the countless variations of pleating. At Kent State University Museum until March 16, 2014.

In the game of chess, the queen is considered the most powerful, and often, the most unpredictable piece. A queen, both in chess and as an archetype, embodies tradition, yet possesses the creative freedom to redefine the rules established by a patriarchal system. The World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri presents A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion and Chess, an exhibition exploring the archetypes of a queen. Works from radical and experimental designers will be used to highlight the queen archetypes in fashion and identify relationships with the cultural collective unconscious and traditions of storytelling. From October 19, 2013 to April 18, 2014.

Fashion Timeline showcases the Kent State University Museum’s world-class collection of historic fashions. Encompassing two centuries of fashion history, this exhibition is designed to show the evolution of styles and silhouettes while contextualizing the pieces with relevant political, technological and cultural developments. A virtual timeline accompanies the exhibition. On view until June 28, 2015.

Dolley Madison Dolley Madison's embroidered silk
satin open robe with hand-embroidery, late 1810s.
A nipped-in waist in the 50s. Diaphanous fabrics and short hemlines in the 60s and 70s. Sparkles and shoulder pads in the 80s. These are the fashion rules we all dressed by – even members of the Royal Family. Featuring rare and exquisite dresses from HM Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales, Fashion Rules will provide a feast for the eyes and a nostalgic glance back at recent decades. On view at Kensington Palace, London until summer 2015!

The First Ladies at the National Museum of American History explores the unofficial but important position of first lady and the ways that different women have shaped the role to make their own contributions to the presidential administrations and the nation. The exhibition features more than two dozen gowns from the Smithsonian’s almost 100-year old First Ladies Collection, including those worn by Frances Cleveland, Lou Hoover, Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The First Ladies encourages visitors to consider the changing role played by the first lady and American women over the past 200 years.
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