England en vogue

by Katie Rowe

Category: Things to do
March 13 2015

Strike a pose at one of these much-talked about fashion exhibitions taking place everywhere from the Bowes Museum in Durham to the V&A in London over spring and summer 2015. 

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, the V&A

Hand-painted butterfly headdress by Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen Hand-painted butterfly headdress by Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen S/S 2008. © Anthea Sims

The first and largest retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s work to be presented in Europe is being tipped as the biggest event in fashion since Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel, and rightly so. Die-hard fans, me included, snapped up 30,000 advance tickets in record-breaking time but don’t fear fashionistas, there are still plenty up for grabs. The V&A is releasing over 50,000 extra tickets and are even opening at 8am on April 27 and May 11 to accommodate McQueen-mad fans wanting to drool (not too near mind!) over the late designer’s ethereal and at times unnerving designs which blurred the lines between fine art and fashion.

March 14 - August 2. Adults £17.50, students £10.20, senior concessions £16.40, children (12-17) £10.20.

Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal, The Bowes Museum

Marina Schiano wearing short evening dress from Fall-Winter 1970 collection Marina Schiano wearing a short evening dress from A/W 1970 collection

The king of effortlessly cool couture continues to reign in the fashion world, making headlines at Paris Fashion Week just a few days ago so it might come as a surprise that an exhibition dedicated to all things YSL has snubbed London in favour of the small market town of Barnard Castle in Durham. The 19th century, fittingly chateau-style Bowes Museum will showcase 50 signature outfits from different eras of his career, including designs that tribute artists such as Mondrian and Matisse, for this exclusive UK exhibition organised with the late designer’s former partner, Pierre Bergé.

July 11- October 25. Adults including Gift Aid £14.00, concessions including Gift Aid £12.00, students £6.00, children under 16 are free (two per paying adult).

Bath Fashion Week & Georgians – Dress for Polite Society, Bath Fashion Museum

Mantuas on show at the Georgians exhibition at Bath Fashion Museum Mantuas on show at the Georgians exhibition © Bath & North East Somerset Council

Pull on your finest threads for the sixth edition of Bath in Fashion as the city hosts an eclectic programme of super stylish events from March 21 to 29. Join insightful debates and discussions with celebrated designers and fashion experts, raise your pinky at a ‘fashionista’ afternoon tea and catch a catwalk show highlighting the latest trends. While you’re at Bath Fashion Museum, make sure you spend some time gasping at more than 30 deliciously decadent designs on display for the Georgians – Dress for Polite Society exhibition, which includes three grand mantuas – coat-like dresses featuring highly-decorated wide skirts originally held out by cane supports known as panniers.

Georgians – Dress for Polite Society until January 1 2016. Adults £8.25, concessions £7.25, children £6.25. Admission includes entry to all temporary exhibitions.

Fashion on the Ration, IWM London

Make do and mend, upcycling, recycling, whatever you call it, thrift is everywhere at the moment. But did you know the reinvention trend first took hold during World War Two? Imperial War Museum’s Fashion on the Ration looks at how fashion in the 1940s not only survived but even flourished under strict rationing rules. From air raid shelter 'onesies' to jewellery created from aeroplane parts, this exhibition explores how men and women alike found inventive and creative ways to dress in an era of adversity.

Until August 31. Adults £10, concessions £7, children £5.

Feeling inspired? Find out more about fashion and shopping in England...

Katie Rowe

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