Must See: Fall Exhibitions

There are several must see exhibitions this fall and I wanted to share a few with the group. These are listed in order by the date in which they end.


Man Mode: Dressing the Male Ego

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum

August 2, 2016 to December 23, 2016

Ego! It comes across loud and clear through a man’s wardrobe. Boldness and confidence translate into strong silhouettes, dominant colors, and militant embellishment. Victorian aesthetes were impeccably tailored, showcasing mastery of sartorial connoisseurship. The educated gent’s prowess for art and sportsmanship were revealed through his neckwear and shoes: Ascot or bow tie today? Wing-tips or spectators? Embracing innovation–cutting-edge textiles and space-age silhouettes–meant a mid-century man could inhabit out-of-this world concepts. Modern hipsters pair straight-off-the-runway fast fashion with vintage or eco couture to express a calculated interest in fashion. From the bedroom to the ballroom and the office to the outfield–male egos demand attention! ManMode: Dressing the Male Ego presents three centuries of menswear from the FIDM Museum collection.

(Photo and exhibition details:


Gold and the Gods: Jewels of Ancient Nubia

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

July 19, 2014 to January 8, 2017

This dazzling exhibition focuses on the Museum’s world-class collection of jewelry from Ancient Nubia (located in what is now Sudan). The Nubian adornments housed at the MFA constitute the most comprehensive collection outside Khartoum. As the conduit between the Mediterranean world and lands south of the Nile Valley, Nubia was known for its exotic luxury goods—especially gold. “Gold and the Gods” focuses on excavated ornaments from an early 20th-century expedition by the Museum with Harvard University, dating from 1700 BC to 300 AD, including both uniquely Nubian and foreign imports, prized for their materials, craftsmanship, symbolism, and rarity. “Gold and the Gods” includes more than one hundred treasures, including a gilt-silver mummy mask of Queen Malakaye and the famous Hathor-headed crystal pendant. The MFA is the only US museum able to mount an exhibition devoted solely to Nubian adornment drawing exclusively on its own collection.

(Photo and exhibition details:


Whirling Return of the Ancestors: Egúngún Masquerade Ensembles of the Yorùbá

Rhode Island School of Design Museum

July 15, 2016 to January 8, 2017

Whirling Return of the Ancestors celebrates the rich and varied artistry of the ensembles worn in Egúngún masquerades—performances that celebrate the power and presence of ancestral spirits among Yorùbá peoples of West Africa. In this installation, works on loan from Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology are presented alongside a magnificent, newly commissioned ensemble from Yorùbá artisans in Benin.

Crochet Coral Reef: TOXIC SEAS

Museum of Arts and Design

September 15, 2016 to January 22, 2017

Crochet Coral Reef: TOXIC SEAS celebrates the tenth anniversary of the “Crochet Coral Reef” (2005–present), an ongoing project by sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim and their Los Angeles–based organization, the Institute For Figuring. Mixing crocheted yarn with plastic trash, the work fuses mathematics, marine biology, feminist art practices, and craft to produce large-scale coralline landscapes, both beautiful and blighted. At once figurative, collaborative, worldly, and dispersed, the “Crochet Coral Reef” offers a tender response to the dual calamities facing marine life: climate change and plastic trash.

(Photo and exhibition details:


The Secret Life of Textiles: Animal Fibers

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

August 15, 2016 to February 20, 2017

The second in the Secret Life of Textiles exhibition series, this installation features works of art made from the most important animal fibers—wool, hair, silk, and feathers—by numerous cultures throughout history and in different regions of the world. The objects on view include fibers from sheep, camelids, goats, yaks, horses, cows, and other small animals; silk filament from cultivated or wild silk worms; and feathers.

The exhibition includes a rich selection of reference materials reflecting the transformation of animal fibers through the use of technology. It also reveals the expertise of conservators in fiber identification using advance microscopy.

(Photo and exhibition details:

SCAD Annual Fashion Show, Carolina Herrera Exhibition

The Savannah College of Art and Design recently presented its 2016 Fashion Show featuring work by graduating students. The full show can be streamed online at

In conjunction with the show, designer Carolina Herrera was presented with the 2016 SCAD Étoile award. Each year SCAD honors a designer who has made a lasting impact on the fashion industry.

A retrospective exhibition of Herrera’s work, “Refined Irreverence”, is now on view at the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta, and at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah. This dual exhibit showcases more than 75 garments spanning over 30 years of Herrera’s career. Both shows will be on view through September 4.

For further reading, the New York Times published an interview with Herrera that discusses the show. See it here.

Summer Exhibition Recommendations

Whether you are on the west coast, east coast or over in Europe this summer, there are great fashion and costume exhibits to take in!

West Coast:

Reigning Men at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 explores the history of men’s fashionable dress from the eighteenth century to the present and re-examines the all-too-frequent equation of “fashion” with “femininity.”

Exhibition Dates: April 10 – August 21, 2016

Exhibition description and dates came from LACMA’s website.

East Coast: 


All of Everything: Todd Oldham Fashion at the Rhode Island School of Design

Drawn from the Todd Oldham Studio archives, a substantial portion of which was recently donated to the RISD Museum, All of Everything features more than 65 full ensembles—from Oldham’s Swarovski crystal-encrusted feats of craftsmanship to his Pantone non-repeating print designs. Carefully considered details, such as embroidered motifs applied at a 400-year-old handicraft workshop in India, illustrate the designer’s deep interest in all aspects of textile development and the preservation of artisan industries. Oldham’s intensive design process is further revealed through his original artwork, while projections of recently discovered runway video footage activate the gallery space and illustrate the full creative endeavor of his fashion shows—which were among the first to feature African-American and ingénue talents such as Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Tyra Banks, among many others.

Exhibition Dates: April 8 – September 11, 2016

Exhibition photo, description, and dates came from RISD Museum’s website.

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology at The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

With more than 150 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, the exhibition will address the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production. It will explore this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and question the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.

Exhibition Dates: May 5 – August 14, 2016

Exhibition description and dates came from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.


fashion forward

Fashion Forward: 3 Siecles de Mode (1715-2016) at Les Arts Decoratifs

The ‟Fashion Forward, 3 Centuries of Fashion (1715-2016)” exhibition will bring together 300 items of men’s, women’s and children’s fashion from the 18th century to today, selected from the museum’s collections to provide a novel chronological overview.

Exhibition Dates: April 7 – August 14, 2016

Exhibition photo, description, and dates came from Les Arts Decoratifs’ website.


Textile Exhibitions

There are a couple of textile exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that I wanted to share with everyone. If you have the opportunity to go, I highly recommend them.

Chinese Textiles: Ten Centuries of Masterpieces from the Met Collection

This installation, which explores the cultural importance of silk in China, showcases the most important and unusual textiles from the Museum’s collection. In addition to three rare pieces dating from the Tang dynasty (618–906), when China served as a cultural hub linking Korea and Japan to Central and West Asia, and ultimately to the Mediterranean world, the exhibition also includes eleventh- and twelfth-century tapestries from Central Asia, as well as contemporaneous Chinese examples of this technique.

Spectacular embroideries—including an imperial fourteenth-century canopy decorated with phoenixes and flowers, and a monumental late seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century panel showing phoenixes in a garden—are also on view, together with theatrical garments, court costumes, and early examples of badges worn at court to designate rank.

Exhibition Ends: June 19

Description is from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

The Secret Life of Textiles: Plant Fibers

Fibers are the most important components of a textile. Everything related to the production of a textile—yarns, dyes, weaving, and patterns—begins with and is determined by the type and quality of the fibers. At The Met, the Museum’s comprehensive textile collection, the conservators’ expertise, and state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation come together to make possible a detailed examination of fiber characteristics and technology through a series of three installations that will be focused on plant fibers, animal fibers, and synthetic fibers.

This first installation in the series will reveal the technological transformation and beauty of the most important plant fibers—linen, hemp, ramie, and cotton—used by various cultures around the world in North Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas, from the Dynastic period of Egypt to the present day.

Exhibition Ends: July 31

Description is from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.



Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle story on Ebony Fashion Exhibit at the Memorial Art Gallery

Memorial Art Gallery Inspiring Beauty

The Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York is featuring forty different ensembles from the Ebony Fashion Fair, from the 1960s through the 2000s.  This traveling celebration of fashion, created by Eunice Johnson of Johnson Publishing, raised millions of dollars for African American charities.  According to the Memorial Art Gallery’s web site, this is the exhibition’s only stop in the northeastern US.  The exhibit runs from January 31–April 24, 2016 at the MAG.

Exhibition: La Mode Retrouvée

November 7, 2015 – March 20, 2016

Paris, France


“For the first time ever, the Palais Galliera is displaying the fabulous wardrobe of Countess Greffulhe, née Élisabeth de Caraman-Chimay (1860-1952). She was the cousin of French dandy and poet Robert de Montesquiou and was immortalised for posterity by Marcel Proust as the Duchess of Guermantes in the famous novel In Search of Lost Time. Proust wrote to Montesquiou : ‘There is no single part of her to be found in any other woman, or anywhere else for that matter. The entire mystery of her beauty is in the glow, above all in the enigma of her eyes. I have never seen a woman as beautiful as she.’”

This exhibition will be traveling to the Museum at FIT in the fall of 2016 and will be titled “Proust’s Muse”.

For more information, please check out the Palais Galliera website.

Exhibition: High Style

November 7, 2015 – January 24, 2016

Cincinnati, OH

high style

Cincinnati Art Museum (

“High Style traces the evolution of fashion from 1910 through 1980 with garments and accessories by the most influential European and American designers of the 20th century, including Schiaparelli, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Norell, Scaasi, and Charles James, among others.” 

For more information, please check out the Cincinnati Art Museum website.