The London fashion exhibitions calendar is always full of fascinating things to see.
The never-ending balancing act between fashion as product and fashion as art is one of the most fascinating aspects of the fashion industry, and nothing highlights this more than the world of fashion exhibitions. In London, you're going to find some of the best in the world.
London's fashion exhibition calendar can seem dominated by some key institutions, and certainly the Victoria and Albert museum is one of the best places to start. Their 2015 Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition, following on from its showing in New York's Met Art Museum, has set the bar for every fashion exhibition since, and year after year they continue to produce some of the most detailed and fascinating fashion exhibitions - every one is a must see.
But if you just stick to the V&A then you'll miss out on some real gems too.
London's Fashion & Textiles Museum is a vital part of London's fashion calendar. Its year-round programme is completely dedicated to the fashion and textile industry, and its shows are always fascinating, revealing new perspectives on the industry. Its recent Liberty in Fashion show was incredibly popular with critics and visitors alike.
Similarly the Fashion Space Gallery - a part of the London College of Fashion - has a regular programme of fascinating exhibitions, often looking at new technology or trends in the industry, quite often from LCF's graduates and alumni. Unlike many shows that may look at the history of the fashion industry, FSG's exhibitions are quite often future-looking, or cover topics related to recent trends and ideas.
Great fashion exhibitions don't need to come from the dedicated museums and galleries, but can come from anywhere - and so the Chicmi team work very hard to keep the calendar up to date with fashion-related shows where-ever they might be. Whether its Mods, Moses and Mr Fish, exploring menswear at The Jewish Museum, or Vogue 100: A Century of Style, exploring the legacy of British Vogue at the National Portrait Gallery - these shows may be outside the regular fashion museum circuit, but they are no less exciting and stimulating.
If you love exploring fashion then you will also want to keep an eye out for exhibitions and retrospectives hosted by the brands themselves. The branded fashion exhibition is a fairly new phenomenon, but one that's really gaining traction - and whether it's a Gareth Pugh Retrospective or the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition, they can always provide a unique insight into the brands that are hosting them. Thankfully there's no shortage of these shows in London!