3 Glossy Fashion Exhibitions To Visit in London


Sensational shoes and sculptures form part of “An Enquiring Mind” at The Wallace Collection – a personally selected edit of shoe designs from Manolo Blahnik’s private archives. Co-curated by Wallace Collection Director, Dr Xavier Bray, and Manolo Blahnik himself, the exhibition places Blahnik’s exquisite designs in the intimate context of the Wallace Collection alongside the paintings, sculpture and furniture that inspired his enquiring mind. This results in a dialogue between the old and the new, art and craft, the real and the fantasy. Each room explores a particular theme associated with Blahnik’s work from the theatre and spectacle of the Commedia dell’arte, 18th-century Rococo style, his own personal interpretation of Englishness and much more. Pastel shoes from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette film are juxtaposed with Fragonard’s Swing and Boucher’s Mme de Pompadour.

Need to Know: “An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection”, until September 1; www.wallacecollection.org, open daily from 10am – 5pm.

As the first international retrospective on the British fashion designer Dame Mary Quant in nearly 50 years, the exhibition at the V&A focuses on the years between 1955 and 1975, when Quant revolutionised the high street with her subversive and playful designs, from hot pants, miniskirts and trousers for women to accessories, tights and make-up. The exhibition brings together over 200 objects, the majority of which have never been on public display. Jenny Lister, curator of “Mary Quant” at the V&A, says: “This long-overdue exhibition will show how Mary made high fashion affordable for working women, and how her youthful, revolutionary clothes, inspired by London, made British streetstyle the global influence it remains today.”

Need to Know: “Mary Quant” at the V&A Museum runs until March 8 2020; www.vam.ac.uk.

Regarded as one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, Cindy Sherman first gained recognition for “Untitled Film Stills”, the series she commenced shortly after moving to New York in 1977. She is famous for her use of make-up, costumes, props and prosthetics to create complex and ambiguous photographic images. With Sherman herself as model wearing a range of costumes and hairstyles, her black and white images captured the look of 1950s and 60s Hollywood, film noir, B movies and European art-house films. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film, Rear Window, is as an important influence and a quote from the film: “Tell me everything you saw and what you think it means” is the central theme of “Cindy Sherman” at the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition examines Sherman’s rich and varied visual language – which draws on cinema, television, advertising and fashion.

Need to know: “Cindy Sherman” is at the National Portrait Gallery until September 15; www.npg.org.uk.

Penny McCormick

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