Here are some fashion-centric exhibitions that have made the jump from museum hall to digital device

Fashion is a tangible art form. Each garment may or may not begin as a sketch, but they are certainly ideas realised: committed from memory to pattern, cut, sewn, embellished, sent down the runways, then displayed in store windows. And to truly appreciate the designs, it is ideal to see them up close and in person.

The pandemic has, of course, changed how the fashion industry operates. With malls having to cease operations and deliveries being put on hold, sales have dipped significantly. A good number of fashion houses have also shifted focus, addressing the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment by producing this now precious gear for frontliners in need. Museums, too, have had to close their doors, putting a temporary halt on displays and shows. And so these industries have embraced the digital platform, making some exhibitions available to view for free online.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams Exhibition

Held at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from July 2017 to January 2018, this exhibition highlights the evolution of Dior at the hands of its creative directors: from Christian Dior to Maria Grazia Chiuri. Through iconic haute couture dresses, accessories, archival photographs, sketches, and other precious objects, audiences are taken on a journey—though virtual, this time—that spans over 70 years of creativity and daring.

Access the exhibition here

(Related: Tour One Of The Greatest Dior Exhibitions Of All Time From Home)

Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of The In-Between

This was the first Costume Institute exhibition involving a living artist since the 1983 Yves Saint Laurent display. Andrew Bolton, the head curator of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, revealed in an interview that he chose Kawakubo because he felt her designs spoke for themselves. Divided into nine aesthetic expressions of interstitiality (meaning “between spaces”), the show featured 140 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear designs from the early 1980s to more contemporary works.

Access the exhibition here

(Related: 8 Fashion Podcasts To Keep Style Lovers Entertained And Inspired At Home)

Balenciaga: Master Craftsman

This exhibition goes into detail on Cristobal Balenciaga as The Master of haute couture, emphasising on the sculptural quality and dramatic nature of his designs. The Spanish couturier’s inimitable touch is showcased through The Victoria and Albert Museum’s well of archives, which document his impact on women’s fashion in the '50s and '60s. Worth noting are the special x-ray photographs by Nick Veasey, which reveal some of Balenciaga’s best-kept design secrets.

Access the exhibition here

(Related: Luxury Fashion Brands Are Bringing Creative Activities To Everyone Staying Home)

Schiaparelli and Surrealism

Revered as a provocateur, Elsa Schiaparelli found joy in challenging traditional fashion norms through subversive details. This exhibition explores her fondness for Surrealism, which inspired her to inject the eccentricity she so loved into her own whimsical works, revealed to us through photographs from The Victoria and Albert Museum. Schiaparelli’s esteemed collaborators include Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton, and Man Ray.

Find out more here

The Craftsmanship of Alexander McQueen

Innovative, emotional, and uncompromising. This is how the fashion world remembers the maverick that was Lee Alexander McQueen, whose romantic yet contemporary touch lives on in the House’s creations today. The exhibition by the British Fashion Council zeroes in on the unique spirit of his work, which was often autobiographical, borrowing not only from popular culture, but elements of his own life as well. Included is a virtual reality tour of five iconic pieces by Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen’s current creative director.

Access the exhibition here

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