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5 Museum Exhibitions We’re Excited About This Month


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Happy New York Fashion Week! Every September, the Big Apple's stylish side shines as it kicks off the biannual bash. While you may think that a front row seat at a fashion show is the only way to take in the festivities, museums around the world are proving that you don't need a catwalk to celebrate NYFW in style.

This month, we're skipping the fine art shows in favor of fashion-inspired spectacles. From a retrospective dedicated to an icon of the Swinging '60s to exhibits exploring the evolution of American fashion, this selection of exciting expositions gives new meaning to the concept of a “fashion show.”

These five fashion-inspired exhibitions are sure to make your September stylish.


Mary Quant at the Victoria and Albert Museum 


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In the 1960s, the fashion world was forever changed by Mod. Born and bred in London, this revolutionary movement put modern fashion on the map—and made Mary Quant a fashion icon.

Credited as the inventor of the mini skirt, Quant is considered one of the most important living fashion designers. In order to illustrate her influence and explore her legacy, London's famed Victoria and Albert Museum has crafted Mary Quant, an exceptionally “retro” retrospective. Featuring with over 200 authentic garments and accessories from Quant's collections, this exhibition offers a comprehensive look at the English designer's role in the fashion scene of 1960s London and beyond.

Mary Quant is on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum until February 16, 2020.


Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at the Brooklyn Museum


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In the 1970s, Pierre Cardin took swinging '60s style to new heights when he coined the term “mod chic.” Long before launching this space-inspired fashion trend, however, Cardin was already creating out-of-this-world garments.

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion, an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, presents these early pieces, as well as the groovy garments Cardin designed in the '70s and '80s. Much more than an exploration of clothing, however, this show promises a multidisciplinary experience comprising all kinds of objects, “including historical and contemporary haute couture, prêt-à-porter, trademark accessories, ‘couture' furniture, lighting, fashion sketches, personal photographs, and excerpts from television, documentaries, and feature films.”

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion closes on January 5, 2020.


Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and '40s at the Chicago History Museum


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It wouldn't be Fashion Week without some glitz and glamour—and Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and '40s, an exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, has plenty of both.

Featuring over two dozen pieces from fashion greats like Chanel, Vionnet, Valentina, Paul du Pont, Howard Greer, and Adrian, this exhibition “tells a tale of making it big, making do, and maintaining appearances during a tumultuous era in American history.” From Depression-era dresses worn by the country's middle class to opulent gowns owned by an exclusive elite, the objects presented in this show shine a spotlight on one of fashion's most influential eras.

Catch Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and '40s until January 21, 2020.


Jewelry for America at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 


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Like Silver Screen to Mainstream,  Jewelry for America—a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City—showcases fashion from a period of American history. While the former documents a couple of decades, however, the latter covers three centuries.

“Spanning three hundred years,” the Met explains, “Jewelry for America explores the evolution of jewelry in this country, from the early eighteenth century to the present day.” In order to trace the evolution of the decorative art form during this time, the museum has curated an exceptional collection of pieces that illustrate “changes in styles, materials, and techniques, all woven into a sociohistorical narrative.”

Jewelry for America closes on April 5, 2020.


Dos à la mode at the Musée Bourdelle


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Fashion may be a forward-thinking practice, but that doesn't mean that the back should be left behind—at least that's what Dos à la mode, an exhibition at Paris' Musée Bourdelle, aims to prove.

Presented by the Palais Galliera, this off-site exhibition highlights one of fashion's most overlooked elements: the back. On top of proving the aesthetic potential of garments' backsides, Dos à la mode explores unprecedented—yet undoubtedly pertinent—avenues. “In a society that is obsessed with people’s faces, Back Side / Fashion from Behind is an original and unexpected theme,” the Musée Bourdelle explains. “By addressing our body’s relationship to clothing from a social and psychological point of view, the exhibition questions the perception we have of our own and other people’s backs.”

Dos à la mode is on view until November 17, 2019.


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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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