exhibition preview_2014


10_20display_mode previews a selection of fashion exhibitions to be presented in 2014. From London to New York, February to October, here are ten shows to look forward to in the coming year.




Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s.

The Museum at FIT, New York,

7 February–19 April 2014.

From the heavily structured clothing of the Edwardian era, to the fluid lines of the art deco period, Elegance in an Age of Crisis celebrates the design and technical innovations that led to the elegantly proportioned, moderne aesthetic of 1930s fashion. Examining both tailoring revolutions in menswear and innovative couture techniques for womenswear, the exhibition demonstrates that the streamlined 30s look was an international phenomenon, presenting clothes from Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia.

Anderson & Sheppard, suit, 1935 © The Museum at FIT.

Hélène Yrande, negligée ensemble, 1932 © The Museum at FIT.




Dries Van Noten: Inspirations.

Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris,

1 March-31 August 2014.

Belgian designer Dries Van Noten, one of the original Antwerp Six, presented his first menswear collection in London in 1986 – almost 30 years later, Inspirations is the designer’s first major museum exhibition. Renowned for men’s and womenswear that combines a modern silhouette with ethic-influenced, artisanal details, the show promises to reveal the designer’s unique creative process and the immense variety of sources that inspire him.

Dries Van Noten, 50TH runway presentation, Spring-Summer 2005 © Dries Van Noten, courtesy Les Arts Décoratifs.



Papier Glacé: un Siècle de Photographie de Mode chez Condé Nast.

Palais Galliera, Paris,

1 March-25 May 2014.

This touring exhibition from the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis, presents over 160 prints and 100 magazines from the archive of publishing house Condé Nast. Drawing on work by Edward Steichen, Erwin Blumenfeld, Deborah Turbeville, Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts, Papier Glacé demonstrates how many of the most innovative and renowned fashion photographers have been launched and supported by publisher Condé Nast.

Deborah Turbeville, Vogue, May 1975 © Condé Nast.



Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket.

The Museum at FIT, New York,

4 March–5 April 2014.

The black leather biker jacket emerged in the early twentieth century and fast became an enduring symbol of youthful rebellion. Appropriated by a raft of couturiers, the original Perfecto style has influenced garments by designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Stefano Pilati, Rei Kawakubo and Rick Owens. Beyond Rebellion proves that this mid-twentieth century icon still has the power to evoke a sense of countercultural allure and mystique.

Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent, black leather jumpsuit, Autumn-Winter 2009.

Jean Paul Gaultier, black leather jacket, 1987.



BIRDS OF PARADISE: Feathers & Plumes in Fashion.

ModeMuseum, Antwerp,

20 March-24 August 2014.

Feathers have long been used in fashion, to conjure an impression of wealth and luxury, sophistication and dark romanticism. Bird of Paradise is a tribute to the plumes and feathers that decorate clothing, jewellery and accessories, and includes work by designers including Chanel, Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen and Ann Demeulemeester.

Folding fan, mount in ostrich feathers, sticks in mock tortoiseshell, 1900-1920. Photo © Stephen Mattues.




The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014.

V&A Museum, London,

5 April-27 July 2014.

Reflecting Italy’s dramatic transition from post-war ruin to global purveyor of luxury fashion, this exhibition explores the stories of designers and companies who embody the cinematically glamorous and technically innovative world of Italian fashion. Material from the houses of Pucci, Valentino, Gucci, Missoni, Valentino, Armani, Prada and Versace provide a comprehensive survey of Italian fashion from the 1940s to the present day.

Valentino Posing with Models near the Trevi Fountain, Rome, July 1967. Courtesy The Art Archive/Mondadori Portfolio/Marisa Rastellini.




Charles James: Beyond Fashion.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,

May 8–August 10, 2014.

The trajectory of Charles James epitomises the romantic myth of the untutored couturier who rises to international stardom only to end his life in penury. This inaugural exhibition in the newly renovated Costume Institute counterpoints James’s biographic narrative with a host of his spectacular, architectural designs. Digital animations decode the geometry of James’s design process to illustrate how he constructed complex, body-shaping forms.

Cecil Beaton, Charles James Ball Gowns, 1948 © Condé Nast, courtesy Beaton/Vogue/Condé Nast Archive.




The 50s.

Palais Galliera, Paris,

3 July-15 November 2014.

Galliera’s latest exhibition offers a new take on fashion in France in the 1950s. Examining the influence of Dior’s 1947 New Look silhouette, it illustrates the rise of the houses of Balenciaga, Fath, Balmain, Givenchy and Cardin to re-establish Paris as world fashion capital. Alongside this story it examines the innovation of legal licensing that allowed couturiers to make their models available to a broader market, prefiguring Yves Saint Laurent’s prêt-à-porter revolution.

Jacques Fath, evening dress, c1947 © Fr. Cochennec and E. Emo/Galliera/Roger-Viollet.




Le Bouton et la Mode.

Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris,

25 September 2014-1 March 2015.

Inspired by the recent acquisition of a collection of over 3700 buttons, dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, The Button and Fashion goes beyond technical examination to explore the aesthetic possibilities of the humble button. Work ranges from artist-designed buttons by Jean Arp, Alberto Giacometti and Sonia Delaunay to artisanal creations by Francis Winter and Roger Jean-Pierre, who supplied the couture houses of Dior, Grès, Balmain and Givenchy.

Image © Les Arts Décoratifs.




Women Fashion Power.

Design Museum, London,

29 October 2014-May 2015.

The Design Museum’s fashion exhibition offering this autumn is Women Fashion Power, curated by eminent fashion historian Colin McDowell. The show examines the politics of dressing for power and success, exploring fashion as a powerful tool to build reputation, enhance careers and express modernity. Women from the worlds of politics, the arts and fashion are presented alongside their historical counterparts.

Margaret Thatcher’s Asprey handbag.



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