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15 Fashion exhibitions to add to the agenda for 2024

By Sylvana Lijbaart


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Iris van Herpen exhibition Credits: Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Do you want to give your upcoming vacations a cultural touch, but are still looking for some inspiration? Or, do you envision 2024 being the year of fashion exhibitions? In 2023, several large and small exhibitions about fashion opened, while several new ones were also announced. FashionUnited has listed a range of international fashion exhibitions for you to check out in the year ahead.

Exhibitions in the UK

The work of 300 young designers at the Design Museum, London

‘Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion’ exhibition Credits: Design Museum by Andy Stagg

In the English capital, an exhibition displaying the work of 300 young designers awaits you at the Design Museum. 'Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion' showcases London's unique fashion culture. On show will be looks from the likes of JW Anderson, Christopher Kane, Molly Goddard, Steven Stokey Daley, Harri, Craig Green, Meadham Kirchhoff, Wales Bonner and Sinéad O'Dwyer. The exhibition also marks the 30th anniversary of the British Fashion Council's NewGen programme.

The exhibition Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion will be on display until 11 February 2024.

Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel at the V&A Museum, London

Fashion Manifesto Credits: V&A, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Running alongside this is the V&A Museum’s exhibition dedicated to the work of French couturier, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel. ‘Gabrielle Chanel, Fashion Manifesto’ focuses on the founding of fashion house Chanel and the evolution of the designer’s iconic design style that continues to influence the way women dress today.

The exhibition Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto is on view until 28 February 2024.

Diva at the V&A Museum, London

Diva exhibit in the V&A Credits: V&A.

Ahead of its arrival in several other destinations, the ‘Diva’ exhibition is currently at the V&A Museum in London. Those curious to explore the meaning of the word 'diva' should definitely take a look here. The exhibition explores and redefines the once controversial term - originally meaning 'goddess' - and how it has been embraced in performance culture. On display are over 60 looks and costume designs by established fashion houses and worn by 'divas' such as Maria Carey, Tina Turner, Shirley Bassey, Cher, Elton John, Rihanna and Billie Eilish.

The Diva exhibition will be on display until 7 April 2024.

The icons of the British fashion world at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock (Oxfordshire)

We continue our journey to Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Here, Blenheim Palace is devoting attention to icons of the British fashion world, including Stella McCartney, Bruce Oldfield and Vivienne Westwood. The exhibition celebrates fashion past and present and it is said to be the largest exhibition to date. “‘Icons of British Fashion’ is the first of its kind at Blenheim Palace and we are immensely proud to be collaborating with some of the world's most celebrated designers and brands to bring together a collection of garments, accessories and artefacts," Kate Ballenger, administrator of Blenheim Palace's palace and collections, said earlier in a statement.

The exhibition will be on display from 23 March to 30 June 2024.

Dive into the Barbie world at the Design Museum, London

Those who have not had enough of the fashion doll after seeing the Barbie film can dive further into the world of Barbie at the Design Museum in London. The museum will display a 65-year timeline of the iconic doll from the summer onwards. Barbie's legacy began in 1959 when Ruth Handler wanted to create a different story for her daughter Barbara. The exhibition explores the evolution of one of the world's most famous dolls through design, including fashion, architecture, furniture and car design. For the exhibition, which has been years in the making, the Design Museum gained access to the Barbie archives in California.

The Barbie exhibition will be on display from 5 July 2024 to 23 February 2025.

Exhibitions in the US

An ode to women designers at MET's Costume Institute, New York

From its home in New York, the MET's Costume Institute is hosting an exhibition dedicated to women designers: 'Women Dressing Women'. The exhibition features some 80 creations by more than 70 designers and aims to celebrate the creativity and legacy of these individuals. In addition, it paints a picture of female fashion houses from the 20th century to the present. Which designers will be spotlighted? Among others, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Gabriela Hearst, Claire McCardell, Miuccia Prada and Vivienne Westwood.

The Women Dressing Women exhibition can be seen until 3 March 2024.

A statement is made at the Museum at FIT, New York

What is a statement sleeve? It is this question that the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is asking itself. The answer is unveiled through an exhibition that showcases as many as 80 fashion pieces. 'Statement Sleeves' features the work of designers such as Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Schiaparelli, Vivienne Westwood and Thierry Mugler. The exhibition will take you through the exploration of how sleeves serve as an important mode of self-expression, reflecting gestures, movements and specific fashion eras.

The Statement Sleeves exhibition will be on display from 24 January to 25 August 2024.

Sleeping beauties at MET's Costume Institute, New York

In spring, the exhibition 'Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion' will also await visitors at the MET. The exhibition explores notions of 'rebirth' and 'renewal', using nature as a metaphor of 'temporary fashion'. The exhibition showcases research, conservation analysis and various technologies 'to revive and explore the sensory capacities of masterpieces in the museum's collection'. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and computer-generated imagery will be used, as well as X-ray, video animation, light projection and soundscapes. A total of 250 garments and accessories from four centuries are to be on display.

The exhibition Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion will be on display from 10 May to 2 September 2024.

Exhibitions in Europe

Diane von Fürstenberg at the Fashion & Lace Museum, Brussels

'Diane von Fürstenberg. Woman before fashion.' Credits: Mode & Kant Museum, C. E. Laurent.

You could start the new year with a special exhibition by Diane von Fürstenberg. Her first European exhibition is on display at the Fashion & Lace Museum in Brussels and is called 'Diane von Fürstenberg. Women Before Fashion'. For this exhibition, the curator delved into her personal archives, most of which includes pieces she made available as loans. The common thread is of course the famous wrap dress, the successful design that resulted in the American dream for the designer and at the same time became a worldwide symbol of freedom and strength.

The exhibition Diane von Fürstenberg. Women Before Fashion is on view until 7 January 2024.

A dip into British fashion history at the Kunstmuseum, The Hague

Anyone who finds British fashion and its history interesting - think the influences of Vivienne Westwood - should definitely visit the 'Royals & Rebels' exhibition. It is an exhibition with a “bitter edge”, as it was described during the press opening. Royals & Rebels immerses you in the country's many traditions and dress codes. Not only does it showcase creations by big names such as Katharine Hamnett, Paul Smith, Gareth Pugh and Simone Rocha, the exhibition also provides a stage for young talent such as: Bora Aksu, Robert Wun, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy and Matty Bovan.

The Royals & Rebels exhibition is on display until 7 January 2024.

The Rolling Stones at the Groninger Museum, Groningen

If, besides being a fashion fan, you are also a music lover AND have The Rolling Stones in your Spotify 'Wrapped', it might be worth travelling to the north of the Netherlands. The Groninger Museum is exhibiting 'The Rolling Stones - Unzipped'. Anyone who knows the British rock band, even a little, knows that it's not just about the music - artists, filmmakers and fashion designers contributed greatly to The Stones' image. While backed by an army of creatives, one may think the iconic band had an onslaught of help in the creation of their look, yet that is not the case, says fashion designers Anna Sui and Tommy Hilfiger, for example. According to them, the rock band designed themselves and allowed their appointed creatives to help realise their vision.

The Rolling Stones - Unzipped exhibition is on display until 21 January 2024.

In conversation with fashion at the Fashion Museum, Hasselt

Expo ‘We Need to Talk about Fashion’ (22/06/2023 – 18/02/2023) Modemuseum Hasselt, BE Credits: © Modemuseum Hasselt/Boumediene Belbachir

About a 40-minute drive from Maastricht in the Netherlands is Hasselt, Belgium. There, an interesting exhibition is currently on display: 'We Need To Talk About Fashion'. Anyone walking into the Fashion Museum will soon hear a tape playing with a humiliating chuckle. "What are you wearing? Ha, ha, ha..." It makes visitors reflect on how we judge or condemn each other (and ourselves) based on how we look. Using silhouettes, soundscapes and slogans, the museum questions not only our own clothes, but also its own collection.

The We Need To Talk About Fashion exhibition is on display until 18 February 2024.

Tailoring School. A Journey into Education at Triennale Milano, Milan

Those looking for an exhibition on tailoring and craftsmanship should book a flight to Milan. Here, the exhibition 'Tailoring School. A Journey into Education' awaits you. The museums Triennale Milano and Kito joined forces for this exhibition, telling the story of the cultural heritage and rich tradition of Neapolitan tailoring that the school embodies, and giving a glimpse into the academy that opened in 2000.

The exhibition Tailoring School. A Journey into Education will be on view from 12 to 16 January 2024.

Sculpting the senses in Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris

Iris van Herpen exhibition Credits: Musée des Arts Décoratifs

At the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the travelling 'Iris van Herpen. Sculpting the Senses' exhibition is currently on display. Through more than a hundred creations, Van Herpen's universe is brought to life. Her textile and technological explorations flirt with her desire to rethink fashion and give it a future, at a time when our consumption habits are being turned upside down by climate change. The exhibition takes you on a journey from creation to creation, guiding you through the world of the designer, who creates futuristic fashion that could be described as "strange", were it not for the fact that art is essentially that way.

The exhibition Iris van Herpen. Sculpting the Senses can be seen until 28 April in Paris, before it moves on to other locations.

An ode to Dutch fashion duo Viktor & Rolf at the Kunsthalle, Munich

Germany is paying tribute to Dutch designer duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (Viktor&Rolf) with the exhibition "Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Statements", where more than one hundred of their most eloquent creations will be on display. The exhibition also marks the first major retrospective on Viktor&Rolf in Germany. The fashion duo's creations will be displayed alongside a selection of their dolls, inspired by antique porcelain dolls, dressed in the designers' most iconic creations, handmade season after season. In addition, the exhibition features numerous videos, sketches and works by leading visual artists showcases, including Andreas Gursky, Inez&Vinoodh and Ellen von Unwerth, as well as specially commissioned animated projections by internationally renowned visual effects studio Rodeo FX, famous for their work on series such as Stranger Things, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings.

The exhibition Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Statements will be on view from February 23 through October 6, 2024.