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The 5 fashion exhibitions you would have liked to visit: and you may still be in time for one of them

On International Museum Day, it is important to remember that art is communicated through many forms, and one of them is undoubtedly fashion

The 5 fashion exhibitions you would have liked to visit: and you may still be in time for one of them On International Museum Day, it is important to remember that art is communicated through many forms, and one of them is undoubtedly fashion

Today, 18 May, is International Museum Day and we at the NSS G-Club thought we would mark the day with an ad hoc review for you of the most prestigious and important fashion exhibitions of recent years. It is important to jump back in time to the very first fashion exhibition in the broadest sense, which took place in Vienna in 1903 at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) thanks to the Wiener Werkstaette (translated as "Viennese Workshop"). The group's declared aim was to introduce objects of high aesthetic and artistic value into everyday life as well, and indeed furniture, porcelain, glass, jewellery, textiles and clothing were exhibited. Over the years, exhibitions on the archives of historical and revolutionary designers became more present and easier to find, also thanks to a democratisation of luxury.

"Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968" (NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, 2016)

Bellissima was an exhibition set up at NSU in Florida to celebrate the appeal and prestige of the Italian fashion world, showcasing looks from two decades of major design revolutions in the bel paese. Brands considered included Pucci, Fendi, Valentino, Simonetta and Bulgari for high jewellery. Of the no less than 230 garments to choose from, many were custom-made pieces handcrafted for film stars such as Ingrid Bergman and Ava Gardner. Some of the pieces were so special that they were never offered for sale, such as a magnificent gem-set cigarette case specially signed by Bulgari.

The exhibition has been contextualised in a kind of multi-channel presentation, as many of the looks have been placed alongside film clips, fashion magazines or stunning black and white photographs of Elizabeth Taylor and film icons of the time, so that one can be fully immersed in the glamour and Hollywood of those years. The exhibition highlights the fluid relationship between fashion and design, architecture, film and theatre, and explores the role that Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice played in the production and staging of fashion during this extraordinarily creative period.

"Fashion Forward - 300 Years of Fashion" (Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 2017)

This exhibition traced the evolution of fashion from the opulence of Louis XV's court to the haute couture of today's catwalks, presenting the works of no less than three centuries of trends and innovations in fashion. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its fashion department, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris presented the exhibition from 7 April to 14 August 2016.


This exhibition was more than a simple survey of the history of fashion; it was a synthesis of art history, fashion and costume. A chronological exhibition spanning three centuries was undoubtedly an ambitious project that required attention to the smallest detail. There was also room for independent reflection, guided by the works, on how the body and human appearance have changed, highlighting the strengths and specificities of each era. As well as the dresses, visitors were able to discover other aspects of these three hundred years, including the skills required to make the garments, and learn a new perspective on designers, patrons and techniques in using innovative materials. Many archive dresses by the great couturiers were on display in the exhibition, we are talking about names of the calibre of Schiaparelli, Lanvin, Chanel, Dior and Saint Laurent.

Alexander McQueen - "Wild Beauty" (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2015)


Alexander McQueen's captivating creativity was expressed through the technical precision of his work and the emotional intensity of his fashion shows. The designer always fearlessly challenged the conventions of fashion by looking beyond the physical constraints of clothing and expanding it to its conceptual and metaphysical possibilities. This approach, however, combined the precision and traditions of tailoring and modelling with the improvisations of a creative genius, a modus operandi that was further refined after his time as creative director of Givenchy in Paris, where he was able to expand on the London vision that nevertheless remained the basis of his work. The stylist's modus operandi, at once rigorous and impulsive, is the basis of McQueen's uniqueness and inimitability, which hit the fashion industry without warning with his death.


The exhibition, first shown at MoMa in New York in 2011 - and one of the museum's 10 most visited shows - and revived in the creative's hometown four years later, featured a wide range of creations that fully reflected the designer's vision with the title of the famous 1999 fashion show SS. "For me, there is no way back. I will take you on journeys you never thought possible." -Alexander McQueen

Unclothed: A Brief History of Underwear (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2017)


This exhibition explored the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion. It explored the role of underwear in shaping the body to a trendy ideal through cut, fit, fabric and embellishment, revealing issues of gender, sex and morality, and a changing definition of public and private.


Nightwear has morphed into loungewear, and garments such as corsets and slips have been reformulated by designers to challenge conventions and explore the dynamic relationship between the body and clothing. This very contemporary story is told through over 200 objects. Garments designed for men and women have been exhibited alongside promotional material, sketches, photographs and films (as well as the David Beckham x H&M commercial) to provide new insights into the most personal items in our wardrobe.

"The Sweet Sixties: Narratives of Fashion" (National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, 2023)

In Rome, an exhibition dedicated to the aesthetics of the 60s is running for a few more days - until 21 May. In The Sweet Sixties, Britain and Italy are represented by the dresses of Mary Quant - who died last April - and Elio Fiorucci, among others. In those years, when the Western climate was marked by strong revolutions, fashion helped to perpetuate the revolutionary movement that enabled both countries to win fundamental battles for civil rights. The exhibition is a journey through time, through an era that left an indelible mark on our lifestyle and an extraordinary legacy of inspiration to the fashion world.


A cultural and social revolution that originated in "Swinging London", on the shoulders of an entire generation that moved to the rhythm of the Beatles: dresses, shoes and accessories that catch the eye in Carnaby Street's most popular shop windows, including miniskirts by Quant. Italy, meanwhile, is rocked by the brilliant Fiorucci, who delights the eyes with a world bathed in jeans and dreamy angels, breathing life into a genuine subculture that is the envy even of foreign countries: The protagonists are the Lambretta rides and the danced-through nights in clubs. The exhibition trail spans five rooms and fifty looks that narrate the atmosphere of an era both troubled and dreamy. Historical garments are combined with garments and accessories found at flea markets and vintage shops.