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UK Fashion exhibitions to visit

UK fashion exhibitions to visit

Once the Fashion Weeks are finished in London, Paris and New York there is always a gap until the February shows where we can discover new collections and feed our appetite for designer lingerie, womenswear, menswear, footwear and, last but not least, accessories. Even the 2012 Victoria's Secret show in New York where British models Lily Donaldson, Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn  rocked the catwalk is behind us now. Not that everyone could go to New York and see them live, but still.

Fashion Collection

We have therefore decided to find something closer to home to feed our fashionista’s appetite during the cold season.

As always, we can count on London to quench our thirst for fashion.

The Victoria & Albert Museum offers for instance two great exhibitions, one on Hollywood costumes and the other on ballgowns.

Ballgowns, British Glamour since 1950, open until 6th January 2013, features over sixty designs for royal parties, opening nights and so on. For less than £12 you can marvel all you want in front of about 60 years of royal gowns, evening wear and such worn by actresses like Sarah Bullock and Elizabeth Hurley. As for the designers of said wonders, we can name Norman Hartwell, Alexander McQueen and many other talented designers. If you’ve always wanted to see Princess Diana’s Elvis dress, now is the time as it is on display there.

After royal glamour, let’s discover some Hollywood glamour with the V&A Hollywood Costume Exhibition which salutes the talent of costume designers and the major role they play in storytelling. Over 100 iconic movie costumes help them prove their point. What would Dorothy do in the Wizard of Oz without her red shoes? Would Indiana Jones be Indiana Jones without his costume, hat and lasso included? You have until 27th January 2013 to find out. Entries are limited so booking is essential. The general admission costs about £15.

favourite valentino

The Somerset House, close to Covent Garden, will introduce on 29th November its new exhibition, Valentino, Master of Couture, to celebrate the life and creations of the famous haute couture designer. For £12.50 this 3 part-exhibition invites you to discover intimately Valentino’s life through a photographic exhibition before walking the catwalk through over a hundred designs. Lastly, you will be introduced to the craft of couture. The exhibition will end on 3rd March 2013.

The Fashion and Textile Museum reopens on 16th November with a brand new exhibition, Hartnell to Amies: Couture By Royal Appointment, which celebrates the Queen’s patronage of couture designers. It explores the rise of London Fashion after the Second World War and how Britain became a force to reckon with in the world of Haute Couture.

Finally, the Horniman Museum and Gardens offers a new free exhibition to ponder on the “London Look”. The Body Adorned: Dressing London considers how people, objects and ideas have influenced London fashion in the past. This exhibitions explores different ways to adorn your body, from objects to tattoos.

For those who can’t go to London, here are some places that may be closer to your home.

Let’s not forget that Great Britain can boast one of the 10 best Fashion Museums in the world according to CNN, the Bath Fashion Museum which is located in the amazing Assembly Rooms dating back from Jane Austen’s times. dresses from the 1900s 

Along with the usual breath-taking collection, there are currently two temporary displays. A Glamour exhibition presents you with 100 years of dazzling evening wear in 22 gowns, including items by Norman Hartwell and Holly Fulton. It runs until the end of 2013. The Sport and Fashion display started in February 2012 in honour of the Olympics and was meant to go on throughout 2012 so we don’t know when it will end. Sportwear has been mingling with fashion for years, as you will see with such clothes as a 1880s tobogganing wool suit, Victorian riding habits, 1920s silk tennis dresses, swimsuits and so on.

1971 Biba Dress

Last September, The Brighton Museum & Art Gallery launched the Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki exhibition. Anything you want to know about this iconic fashion brand, its designer Barbara Hulanicki and her life after the brand’s corporate takeover is here! In the museum shop you can find products with an illustration made exclusively by Barbara Hulanicki for the Brighton Museum.

The Hope House Costume Museum in Derbyshire organises themed fashion shows from time to time. The rest of the time you can simply admire the displays of costumes from the late 18th century to the 1970s. An added bonus is that you can even see photographs of many items of clothing displayed worn by their first owners.

For our readers in the Durham or North Yorkshire counties, the Preston Park Museum in Stockton-on-Tees boasts, among many other things, a lovely Victorian Street. They have very recently secured some of the costumes and items used in the Olympics opening ceremony, mostly from the ‘Mary Poppins’ scene. Turn back time and step into this Street to discover or rediscover what the atmosphere was like in Victorian times.

Unfortunately for us the National Museum of Costume in Scotland is closed in the winter but be sure to visit it once it reopens in March.

Everyone at Fiore hopes this article has fed your appetite for fashion and will help you find activities for the weekends to come!


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