In the midst of London Fashion Week, new styles of luxury clothing and designer shoes are appearing from fashion houses at a dizzying pace. It can be easy, in times like these, to dismiss the fashion of yesteryear, which has undoubtedly shaped the fashion of today. With styles from decades past being reintroduced as we speak, it would be of great value to brush up on your fashion history knowledge at one, or even all, of these brilliantly eye-opening fashion exhibitions.
A celebration of Balenciaga past and present, with special tribute to Spanish fashion designer and founder of the brand, Cristóbal Balenciaga, showcasing the ways in which he has impacted and influenced fashion through the years, with many of the silhouettes and designs introduced by him still being famous today. The exhibition, which takes a look at his techniques and craftsmanship, runs until 18th February 2018, and comes 100 years after the opening of his first fashion house. Making a notable appearance will be the silk taffeta evening dress, evening mini sequin dress and the ‘envelope’ dress.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Exhibition
500 years of Chatsworth House Fashion are explored at this exhibition running until 22nd October 2017, which is included with a house ticket purchase. With 25 stately rooms and 100 mannequins on display, the exhibition goes back to the 17th century, where the level of fashion within the Cavendish family at Chatsworth was discovered by Lady Burlington when searching for a christening gown for her son. Curated by Hamish Bowles, Editor at American Vogue, with the creative help of Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda, original fashion is displayed alongside re-imagined gowns. Modern collections belonging to the current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire give a contemporary twist, allowing comparisons to be made between the British noble family’s fashion of past centuries and their fashion of now.
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
House Style (included in House & Garden ticket)
A poignant exhibition of Princess Diana’s fashion 20 years after her passing, held at her previous residence, Kensington Palace. Until February 2018, visitors can admire the evolution of the Princess’s style, from her early demure outfits to her later glamorous dresses where she exuded confidence. An extraordinary collection of Princess Diana’s garments can be seen, including the iconic Victor Edelstein velvet gown worn when she danced with John Travolta at the White House, along with original sketches from some of her favourite designers. The White Garden at the Kensington has also been planted with flowers and foliage inspired by the life of the Princess, and complements the exhibition beautifully.
Kensington Palace, London
Diana: Her Fashion Story (included with palace admission ticket)
Until 1st January, 50 pieces will be exhibited to showcase the use of lace in fashion throughout the years, from the sixteenth century until present day. Whether luxury garments worn by royals, high fashion pieces worn by celebrities or everyday items available on the high street, lace has been an enduring trend and is documented brilliantly by The Fashion Museum. Items loaned by the likes of Burberry and Karl Lagerfeld sit amongst garments such as the navy blue dress worn by Lea Seydoux in the James Bond film, Spectre, loaned by Australian design duo Lover.
Fashion Museum, Bath
Lace in Fashion (included in museum ticket)
Featured image: Balenciaga at Victoria and Albert Museum
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