5 Unmissable Fashion Events and Exhibitions in London

We’re never short of things to do in London, and that’s part of the problem. If you’re planning a fleeting or fashion-filled visit to the English capital, check out MonDéfilé’s definitive list of the five most unmissable fashion events and exhibitions that London is due to host this year and next.

Wedding Dresses 1775 – 2014 : Victoria & Albert Museum

The self-proclaimed ‘world’s greatest museum of art and design’ is hosting this extensive exhibition of famous and historical wedding dresses dating from 1775 to the present day. Its purpose is to ‘trace the development of the fashionable white wedding dress’ featuring more modern designs by Vera Wang, Christian Lacroix, and John Galliano, as well as Royal Dressmaker Norman Hartnell and ‘America’s First Couturier’ Charles James. The exhibition also includes notable wedding dresses as worn by the Duchess of Cornwall, Kate Moss, and Sarah Jessica Parker in the Sex and the City movie.

You can visit Wedding Dresses 1775 – 2014 until March 2015 at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Made in Mexico – The Rebozo in Art, Culture, & Fashion : Fashion & Textile Museum

For something a little less traditional and more culturally eclectic, head to London’s Fashion & Textile Museum to see the first ever exhibition dedicated entirely to the rebozo – a Mexican shawl made famous in the early 20th century by artist Frida Kahlo. Aptly designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta, the Fashion & Textile Museum provides the perfect backdrop for this exhibition. It traces the garment as a symbol of Mexican identity from the 17th century to the present day. The exhibition not only gives focus to the history of the garment but also its production, explaining the specific traditional methods and skills required to create it. For the more culturally-oriented, this promises to be a stimulating exhibition.

You can visit Made in Mexico until August 2014 at the Fashion & Textile Museum.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 – 2014 : Victoria & Albert Museum

Another popular exhibition currently at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London charts Italy’s ‘return to luxury’ after the Second World War, highlighting both womenswear and menswear and taking a detailed look at fashion fabrics, techniques, and skills that have defined the development of modern Italian glamour. The exhibition is divided into categories, including enthusiasm for Italian tailoring, fashion, production, and the Italian economy, and also the cult of the fashion designer. Some of the most internationally renowned Italian designers of all time are examined under the microscope, such as Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana. This short-lived exhibition arrived only in April but will be leaving the museum at the end of July, so don’t miss your opportunity and be sure to see it this Summer.

You can visit The Glamour of Italian Fashion until July 2014 at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier : Barbican Museum

The Barbican Museum’s The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier marks the first major exhibition dedicated to the French designer. Featuring over 40 years of design history and 165 avant-garde garments, the exhibition strives to communicate his cutting-edge fashion philosophy, his reputation for daring designs, and his fascination with world cultures and counter-cultures. His infamous designs for Madonna’s and Kylie Minogue’s World Tours are included in the exhibition, as well as the work he manufactured for film costume departments, in particular for film director Pedro Almodóvar. Photographic and artistic collaborations are also featured alongside catwalk presentations, concerts, music videos, and films.

You can visit The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier until August 2014 at the Barbican Museum.

Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty : Victoria & Albert Museum

We are getting a little ahead of ourselves with this one, but when the famed Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty exhibition from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art arrives at the Victoria & Albert late Spring next year, it will certainly secure itself as the single most important fashion exhibition of 2015. The highly anticipated exhibition will trace McQueen’s creative genius from his unconventional MA graduate collection of 1992 at Central Saint Martins to his unfinished Autumn / Winter 2010 collection. The Museum states that the exhibition will ‘be presented with the dramatic staging and sense of spectacle synonymous with his runway shows’. The visually extravagant show became one of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Top 10 most visited exhibitions. The New Yorker’s Judith Thurman said ‘even if you never bother with fashion shows, go to this one.’

You can visit Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty from March – July 2015 at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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