(hitting the capital in 2015. From McQueen’s jaw-dropping couture to wartime make-do and mend – via 3D printing and clothes made from trees – there’s something for every fashion lover.A bumper crop of style-conscious exhibitions and shows are
He once described the V&A as ‘the sort of place I’d like to be shut in overnight’, so it’s apt that this dazzling and poignant homecoming for the late, great Alexander McQueen takes place within the museum’s walls. An ode to one of London’s most extraordinary fashion talents, Savage Beauty is set to be a bigger, better version of New York’s sell-out 2011 show at the Met, with over 200 ensembles and accessories on display – the largest number of McQueen designs and collaborations seen in one place, ever. Unmissable.
V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
Sat Mar 14 – Sun Jul 19
Decades before Sienna Miller first sported a kaftan, Thea Porter was the original fashion bohemian. Inspired by her Damascus upbringing, her designs – fusing Middle Eastern prints with striking, extravagant silhouettes – were unprecedented in the UK. The Fashion and Textile Museum’s spring exhibition charts Porter’s journey from a tiny Soho showroom to Hollywood high society, through a globe-trotting collection of over 150 textiles, garments, sketches and photographs.
Fashion and Textile Museum Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF
Fri Feb 6 – Sun May 3
The austerity restrictions of textiles during the Second World War ushered in an era of make-do and mend that is explored in this eye-opening peek into wartime wardrobes. The enforced creativity brought about by rationing is illustrated beautifully by a parachute-silk bridesmaid dress and a natty gas mask handbag – how’s that for a statement accessory?
Imperial War Museum Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ
Thu Mar 5 – Mon Aug 31
Conceptual and often controversial, there’s far more to fashion photography than beautiful people posing in fancy clothes. Fashion Photography Next is a celebration of innovation in image-making, compiled by writer and curator Magdalene Keaney. The arresting selection of snaps includes work by Jacob Sutton, Laetitia Hotte and Alice Hawkins. The exhibition is divided into two parts; the first running from Thu Jan 15 until Sat Feb 28, the second from Fri Mar 6 until Sat Apr 18.
Fashion Space Gallery 20 John Princes St, W1G 0BJ
Until Sat Apr 18
A byword for timeless elegance both on-screen and off, Audrey Hepburn is one of the twentieth century’s most enduring style icons. The National Portrait Gallery’s summer show charts Hepburn’s picture-perfect career, from West End chorus girl to leading lady via iconic portraits by the likes of Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.
National Portrait Gallery St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE
Thu Jul 2 – Sun Oct 18
The line-up for the Design Museum’s annual celebration of innovation won’t be announced until February, but you can expect an inspiring showcase from some of the best names in architecture, style, furniture and graphics: last year’s style category featured Raf Simons for Dior, a pop-art tinged collection from Prada and the work of rising star Sadie Williams.
Design Museum 28 Butlers Wharf, Shad Thames, SE1 2YD
Wed Mar 25 – Sun Aug 16
The next generation of fashion talent will be out in force at MA15, a boundary-pushing showcase of clothes, accessories, film and photography from London College of Fashion’s graduate cohort. You won’t be the only visitor scouting for future fashion industry stars here.
Victoria House Southampton Row, WC1B 4DA
Wed Feb 18 – Sun Feb 22
Fabric fashioned from a tree? No, not the latest student collection at Fashion Week. This cloth-making tradition dates back around 5,000 years, and is just as barking as it sounds. This show features clothing, headdresses, masks and body adornment from New Guinea to Easter Island, exploring the creative history of the Pacific’s ancient civilisations. We’re sure it’ll be tree-mendous.
British Museum Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG
Thu Feb 5 – Sun Aug 16
After the Design Museum’s Christian Louboutin exhibition broke all recrods in ticket sales, it was inevitable that more shoe shows would follow in its footsteps. ‘Pleasure and Pain’ explores the agony and ecstasy of extreme footwear through an enviable, if blister-inducing, selection of 200 pairs past and present. Ranging from the covetable to the truly toe-curling, exhibits include gold-leaf sandals from ancient Egypt, architectural heels by Zaha Hadid, and the Westwood platforms that notoriously floored Naomi Campbell.
Victoria & Albert Museum Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Sat Jun 13 – Sun Jan 31
Next season’s hottest accessory isn’t a tote or a turban – it’s a 3D printer. Hi-tech printing methods are pushing fashion boundaries, allowing designers to create anything from a painstakingly intricate couture gown to a pair of personalised performance-boosting trainers. At the London leg of 3D Printshow, models will be strutting down a catwalk wearing 3D-printed creations. One for the truly fashion-forward.
Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
Thu May 21 – Sat May 23