Cancel
Fashion News 

Your Guide To This Year’s Hottest Fashion Exhibitions And What To Wear When You Attend

Everything from Balenciaga ruffles to Dior's New Look.

share with your friends
If you’re going to be dropping into one of the world’s fashion capitals before the end of the year, it’s time to suspend all the touristy tower-climbing and instead buy a ticket for one of the groundbreaking fashion exhibitions happening at this very moment. Whether you’re more into Rei Kawakubo’s interstitial avant-garde or Christian Dior’s legacy of stunning haute couture gowns, you’ll find an exhibition that’ll deepen your appreciation for the thought and process behind high fashion, as well as for the iconic designers and houses responsible for its creation.
 
We’ve broken down this year’s must-see fashion exhibitions in cities from New York to Antwerp, and included our insider tips for being the best-dressed attendee in the guide below. You only have one decision left to make: which fashion capital will you visit?
 

Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garcons in NYC


Image: Metmuseum.org

What's it about?
Renowned Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo has built her entire career on avant-garde ensembles that eradicate the traditional boundaries between “fashion” and “art”. It is this liminal space and “in-betweenness” that is the subject of the Met’s Costume Institute’s exhibition dedicated to Kawakubo work for Comme des Garçons, featuring designs from the 1980s all the way up to her most recent FW17 collection. Delving into the myriad of contradictions embraced by her designs, the exhibition explores the interstitial nature of her art through dualisms such as Absence/Presence, Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Self/Other. 
 
What should I wear?
You can channel Kawakubo’s ground-breaking and post-fashion thinking with ensembles that celebrate her penchant for voluminous, sculptural extremes. Asymmetrical, billowing shirts, wacky hair accessories... and don’t forget to incorporate some surprising textures into the mix.

1/5
COS Appliqué Top - $135
Shop
2/5
Pixie Market Floral Embroidered Puffy Shirt - $105
Shop
3/5
Zara Flowing Palazzo Trousers - $50
Shop
4/5
Free People Kimono Hair Clip - $24
Shop
5/5
Free People Disco Fever Hair Piece - $28
Shop
Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons is on view at The Met until September 4th, 2017.
 

Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams in Paris


Image: Lesartsdecoratifs.fr

What's it about?
This exhibition, held at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Christian Dior fashion house by retracing the brand’s aesthetic vision in its entirety through a collection of more than 300 haute couture gowns, from Dior’s radical New Look all the way to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s fringed, A-Line cocktail dresses. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at the history of the atelier through a variety of original documents and illustrations, and gain a deeper understanding of how Dior's passion for art directly influenced his sensibility as a designer.
 
What should I wear?
Going full-on haute couture might be a bit too tacky, but you can still pay homage to Dior’s cinched waists and feminine silhouettes by rocking a t-shirt or maxi dress gathered at the waist. Wear sheer, fluttery fabrics reminiscent of the SS17 collection, or (if the weather isn’t as summery) a stylin’ trench coat or blazer.
1/5
Teresa for ELOQUII Fit & Flare Shirtdress with Lace - $165
Shop
2/5
Society Plus Preminum Long Grey Tutu - $120
Shop
3/5
Zara Double Breasted Waistcoat Dress - $80
Shop
4/5
Zara Floral Print Blazer - $70
Shop
5/5
Eloquii Rosette Ruffle Peplum Top - $63
Shop
Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams is on view at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs until January 7th, 2018.
 

Balenciaga, Shaping Fashion in London


Image: Creativereview.co.uk

What's it about?
2017 marks yet another anniversary (the centenary, to be precise) of the opening of Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga’s first fashion house. The exhibition at the V&A Museum celebrates one of the most revered designers of haute couture by considering Balenciaga’s innovative garments from the 1950s and '60s, a period during which he introduced new shapes such as the babydoll and the sack dress — radical at the time, but now staples in womenswear. You’ll also marvel over signature ensembles and accessories that Balenciaga designed for the it-girls of his time — socialites and Hollywood starlets — and learn about how his exceptional perspective on haute couture influenced the designers that succeeded him.
 
What should I wear?
Much of Balenciaga’s work incorporated elements of Spain’s sartorial culture, such as flamenco dresses, matador-style jackets and black lace. For a simple reference to the couturier’s work, try on an elegantly ruffled ensemble or one the couturier’s highly popularized, ultra-comfy sack or shift dresses. And for a final, cheeky touch? A Ikea-inspired tote bag.
1/5
Eloquii Studio Ruffled Tiered Dress - $130
Shop
2/5
Dolls Kill Rainbow Sally Sack Dress - $98
Shop
3/5
With Chic Oversized Sack Dress - $35
Shop
4/5
Reformation Tropica Dress - $248
Shop
5/5
State Bags Graham Tote Bag - $80
Shop
Balenciaga, Shaping Fashion is on view at the V&A Museum until February 18th, 2018.
 

Margiela, The Hermes Years in Antwerp


Image: Htt.hk

What's it about?
If not much is known about Belgian designer Martin Margiela’s collections for Hermès, ModeMuseum’s exhibition is about to change all of that. In this exposition, Margiela’s exquisite, rarely displayed work for the Parisian house is in dialogue with his designs for his namesake, Maison Martin Margiela. The curation pays tribute to Margiela’s understated mastery of luxury and timeless vision of fashion by showcasing key elements in his design: the fluidity of his layered ensembles, the versatility of his garments, his elegantly monochrome color palette. A genius who designed pieces of unsurpassed comfort and innovative workmanship, Margiela’s work at Hermès is finally being unveiled to the public.
 
What should I wear?
Show that you already know a thing or two about Margiela’s stunning simplicity by donning an classic ensemble, whether it be a long, silky trench or a classy, cream skirt. And don’t be afraid to show-off a top with a plunging neckline – the vareuse, a comfortable, deep-V sweater, was one of Margiela’s signature pieces.
1/5
Zara Trench Coat With Gathered Sleeves - $129
Shop
2/5
Forever 21 Plus Size Wool Blend Sweater - $12
Shop
3/5
Reformation Foxtrot Dress - $428
Shop
4/5
Eloquii Flutter Sleeve Pleat Front Tunic - $55
Shop
5/5
Urban Outfitters Kimchi Soft Shoulder Shift Dress - $40
Shop
 
Margiela, The Hermès Years is on view at the ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen until August 27th, 2017.
What we Recommend
More to explore
More Articles