Closed during the lockdown months and deserted during the summer, museums worldwide are welcoming fashion lovers again with some essential exhibitions to discover in the coming weeks or months. From "Man Ray and Fashion" to "Bags: Inside Out," here are a few shows to discover.
"Man Ray and Fashion"
Musée du Luxembourg (Paris) - Until January 17, 2021
> The work of American artist Man Ray has been the subject of many past exhibitions but this Paris show is the first to focus on his fashion work. Man Ray became a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair and Vogue despite having no experience in fashion photography to begin with. His photos of Coco Chanel, as well as of designers like Elsa Schiaparelli and Jeanne Lanvin made fashion history. The exhibition draws parallels between the photography and couture garments.
"Vivienne Westwood, art, fashion and subversion"
Musée des tissus (Lyon) - Until January 17, 2021
> The French city of Lyon is showcasing the subversive aspect of Vivienne Westwood's fashion in the past and today. Through sketches, objects, of art and accessories as well as clothes, the show presents the punk spirit as well as the activism of the award-winning British designer. The show spans her whole career and life of activism and allows fans to (re)discover some of her most iconic creations.
"Bags: Inside Out"
Victoria and Albert Museum (London) - November 21, 2020 - September 12, 2021
> Women (and men) may have piles of handbags stashed in their closets but they don't necessarily know the history and origin of this beloved accessory. This V&A exhibition sets out to remedy that. With over 300 iconic items dating from the 16th century to today, this show delves into the function, design and craftsmanship of bags from around the world. Among star pieces, the first Birkin bag made by Hermès in 1984.
"Little Black Dress"
National Museum of Scotland (UK) - Until October 25, 2020
> There is only a month left to discover this exhibition about that fashion staple, the little black dress. Close to a century after it made its first appearance thanks to Coco Chanel, the LBD has played a key role in fashion but also in society as a whole. Over 60 iconic looks are presented, including historic pieces by Chanel and Dior alongside recent work by contemporary designers like Gareth Pugh, Christopher Kane, and Comme des Garçons.
"About Time: Fashion and Duration"
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) - From October 29, 2020
> After months of delay due to the pandemic, "About Time: Fashion and Duration" will finally open its doors to the public. To mark The Met's 150th anniversary, the Costume Institute will present the evolution of fashion from 1870 to the present. However, the show will highlight a conceptual, non-traditional timeline, presenting key pieces in pairs connected through shape, motif, material, pattern, technique, or decoration.