Sometimes designers use so much creative license and have such technical talent that it’s hard to tell the difference between fashion and art. Luckily, there are a number of current museum exhibits around the world solely dedicated to said designers, so the distinction between fashion and art hardly matters. These exhibitions celebrate famed members of the international fashion community, including Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, and Helmut Newton. Cities from Paris to Houston, Texas are celebrating fashion’s contribution to the art world, and we wish we could hop on a plane to check out them all.
Click through and get ready for a road trip to ten of the most inspiring fashion exhibits of the moment.
Maurizio Anzeri: In Conversation
June 25, 2011 - October 2, 2011
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, England
Maurizio Anzeri embroiders directly onto vintage photographs to create these trippy, bold graphic images. They've already been featured in the June 2011 issue of Dazed & Confused, and these enchanting images and the work of Anzeri are totally worth checking out.
Chanel: Designs for Modern Women
May 21, 2011- December 31, 2011
Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Get to know more about the iconic designer Coco Chanel while getting to see Chanel suits, jewelry, handbags, and more from the '60s and '70s, as well as some rare couture from the '20s and '30s!
Art & Fashion: Between Skin and Clothing
March 5, 2011- August 7, 2011
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany
This exhibition explores the line between fashion and art, while celebrating the brands who constantly blur that line such as Martin Margiela, Comme des Garcons, and Viktor & Rolf.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
June 17, 2011-October 2, 2011
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Jean Paul Gaultier is calling this exhibit his "biggest show ever". The exhibition will be filled with garments, videos, and photographs from his illustrious archives. It will also feature his work with great collaborators like Andy Warhol, Mario Testino, and Herb Ritts.
By the way, this show gets around! It moves to the Dallas Museum of Art on November 13, 2011- February 12, 2012, and then to the de Young Museum of San Francisco on March 24, 2012- August 19, 2012.
Helmut Newton: White Women, Sleepless Nights, Big Nudes
July 3, 2011-September 25, 2011
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Texas
This exhibit records the works of Helmut Newton's first three photography books, White Woman (1976), Sleepless Nights (1978), and Big Nudes (1981). High end fashion photography doesn't get much better then the original Mr. Newton.
Radical Beauty: Irving Penn
June 30, 2011- August 20, 2011
Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Radical Beauty is an exhibit that pays tribute to career of Irving Penn, one of the most influential and daring photographers of the 20th century. The exhibit spans six decades of his career and will take you from "the highlands of Papua New Guinea to the high society of the fashion world." Penn's work is jarringly beautiful and will stay with you long after your visit to the exhibit.
Madame Gres, Couture at Work
Until August 28, 2011
Bourdelle Museum of Paris
Madame Gres was a pioneer in the couture world of fashion. She often said, I wanted to be a sculptor. For me, working with fabric or stone is the same thing," which makes it only fitting that her work has lived in the lovely Bourdelle Museum in Paris. What she created at times transcended fashion and became a unique work of art.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
May 4, 2011-August 7, 2011
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Definitely the most talked about fashion exhibit of the year (and possibly of the decade) was the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met. If you go see one exhibit before the year is over, seriously consider this one -- you'll never regret it.
Masters of Style: Celebrating the Stories behind Italian Fashion
Until August 14, 2011
Somerset House, London
Home to not only London fashion week but also some of the coolest fashion and art exhibits around, Somerset House is holding an exhibit in honor of Italian fashion. That's everything from Dolce & Gabbana to Prada to Versace and all that lies in between those sultry taste makers.
July 5, 2011- November 13, 2011
The Arts Decoratifs Paris
Of all of the designers who break out and become true artists, Hussein Chalayan is one of those that rises to the top of the pack. His work shows his unique perspective and explores his career as someone who broke all of the fashion "rules."