5 Exhibitions around the world that should be on every fashion enthusiasts’ must-see list this year

5 Exhibitions around the world that should be on every fashion enthusiasts’ must-see list this year

Not to be missed

Text: Joan Kong

Travelling anytime soon? The exhibitions by Chanel, Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna and Salvatore Ferragamo should be included in your itinerary

Fashion exhibitions have enjoyed a growing popularity as of late—not that we're complaining. According to Oriole Cullen, the curator of the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams in London, "A lot of fashion houses now have their own archives because they've realised the importance of having that legacy and that there's an interest in the history of the house." We really can't think of a better way to soak up the culture and gain more insight into a fashion house's rich artisanal heritage than getting to see its past and present collection up close. Below, we highlighted some of the most exciting retrospectives around the world that should be included in your must-see list on your travels this year. We promise it'll be worth it!


Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé in Shanghai

Until June 2 2019

Located at the West Bund Art Center, Shanghai marks the fourth stop of Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé exhibition after London in 2015, Seoul in 2017 and Hong Kong in 2018. Within, the 6,000 square-meter space is divided into the three main creative worlds that represent the emblematic address linked to the House's products: 31 rue Cambon for haute couture; Grasse, the town on the French Riviera, for the iconic Chanel N°5 perfume; and 18 Place Vendôme for high jewellery. Besides the three main rooms, there's also a smaller retrospective celebrating the brand's creative expressions, and visitors will be able to gain more insight into its relationship with different ateliers that specialise in hat-making, embroidery, goldsmith and more. Lastly, visitors can also make a pit-stop at the movie room where all the Chanel-related movies over the years are played.


Visitors can book their tickets through the WeChat app under the Mademoiselle Privé account.


Christian Dior's Designer of Dreams in London

Until July 14 2019

"There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture. I even love English cooking." - Christian Dior

The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at the V&A marks the largest and most comprehensive Dior retrospective to ever be staged in London. That alone is already a reason why it's a must-see. The exhibition presents over 500 pieces spanning from 1947 to today, including 200 rare couture gowns, accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Monsieur Dior's personal possessions. One of the most iconic looks goes to the custom-made cream-coloured gown that was worn by Princess Margaret on her 21st birthday which is on loan from the Museum of London. Aside from that, visitors can also take a look at how each successive artistic director—from Yves Saint Laurent to Maria Grazia Chiuri—stayed true to the House's aesthetic while injecting their creative minds to it.


Although tickets are sold out, limited tickets are available to purchase daily at 10am from the Grand Entrance of the Victoria and Albert Museum.


Met's Camp: Notes on Fashion in New York

Until September 8 2019

Last year's Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and Catholic Imagination exhibition was the most visited exhibition in Met museum history with a record of over 1.66 million visitors recorded in four months. Will this year's Camp: Notes on Fashion theme—where exaggerated and theatrical fashion take centre stage—be able to beat it? Judging from the attention that was received during this year's Met Gala, we certainly think so. The space, featuring over 250 objects dating from the 17th century to today, is divided into two parts: one, the historic origins of camp, and the other, its influence on fashion. Set in a pink gallery, the former is filled with letters, paintings and sculptures. While the latter, is in a room with a double-decker display filled with examples of camp fashion, from brands such as Gucci, Moschino, Versace, Balenciaga and more. Accompanying each look, is different definition of camp from an array of writers, designers and academics, including Susan Sontag's essay which inspired the theme this year.

The exhibition is free with museum admission, and tickets can be purchased at the admissions desk or online.


Ermenegildo Zegna's Padre e Figlio in Trivero, Italy

Until October 13 2019

For six months, Biella and Trivero, a town and commune in Italy respectively, will be hosting the Padre e Figlio (Father and Son) exhibition, which brings together Italian painter and artist, Michelangelo Pistoletto's and his father, painter Ettore Olivero Pistoletto's works. Dubbed as two of the most important figures in the international art scene, the retrospective will analyse the relationship between a father and his son in different forms. Held at three iconic venue: the Palazzo Gromo Losa, Cittadellarte — Fondazione Pistoletto, and Casa Zegna, these mansions come with a rich history that'll no doubt serve as the perfect backdrop to the artwork.


The Padre e Figlio exhibition is open daily except Monday. Advance booking is required.


Salvatore Ferragamo's Sustainable Thinking in Florence, Italy

Until March 8 2020

With sustainability being the It-topic in fashion right now, Salvatore Ferragamo showcases its devotion with an exhibition dedicated to sustainability and innovation in fashion, art and design at its own museum in Florence, and it'll run through March 2020. Although the topic has been on everyone's lips in recent years, did you know that the House's founder Salvatore Ferragamo actually started researching on green materials in the '20s, transforming alternative materials such as hemp, cellophane and fish skin into products. Aside from that, the retrospective will also showcase the original footwear that were created by Ferragamo from the '20s through the '50s, with five special shoes recreated based on the archives. The main aim of the almost year-long exhibition is to address a wider audience and to inspire reflection on environmentalism using the "language of fashion, art and materials".


Visitors can purchase their ticket via the TicketOne website, and each ticket costs 9Euros.