2015's best museum shows: They are all about haute couture

  • AFP
  • Updated: Aug 20, 2015 17:10 IST
From L: China: Through the Looking Glass. Evening dress by Roberto Cavalli, fall/winter 2005–6 (Photo courtesy: Platon, The Metropolitan Museum of Art). Tulle and lace dress with veil and antlers by Alexander McQueen. (Photo courtesy: firstVIEW)

At The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute the exhibit "China: Through the Looking Glass" has become the best attended show ever.

The show, which opened in May and has seen its run extended by three weeks through September 7 in light of its success, beat the previous record holder, the 2011 show "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," over the weekend when it surpassed 670,000 visitors.

Taking up 30,000 square feet of space across 16 separate galleries in the Museum's Chinese and Egyptian Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center, the show is The Costume Institute's largest special exhibition yet. It explores how Chinese aesthetics have influenced Western fashion for centuries by juxtaposing haute couture with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery. Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Christian Dior are just some of the houses represented at the show.


Short cocktail dress. A tribute to Piet Mondrian Haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1965 by Yves Saint Laurent. (Photo courtesy: Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent / Alexandre Guirkinger)

The show isn't the only stylish extravaganza to draw visitors this year. In fact, the "Savage Beauty" exhibition, which saw a total of 661,509 visitors in New York, also made headlines when it moved to the V&A museum in London. The show became the museum's most successful paid-for exhibition, drawing more than 493,000 visitors from 87 countries during its 21-week run. Celebrating the career of the visionary fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen, it featured garments and accessories from the British designer's early London collections, as well as rare items from private collectors.

But fashion fans suffering from withdrawal symptoms needn't wait too long for their next fix. Chanel is set to take center stage in London on October 13 with the opening of a new exhibition, "Mademoiselle Privé," at the city's prestigious Saatchi Gallery. Inspired by the French house's legendary founder Coco Chanel, the show is set to offer an "enchanted voyage" through the history of the iconic French fashion house to its modern day success under Karl Lagerfeld.

The UK is also currently hosting "Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal," a look at the famous French fashion designer's vision and its lasting influence on modern womenswear featuring 50 of his most iconic garments, including rare pieces from his time at Dior. The exhibition runs at the Bowes Museum through October 25.

also read

Meet Mumbai’s cosplay medic, the man who cures costumes at Comic Con
Show comments