Looking for a little culture and couture on holiday? Plan to visit some of these upcoming and ongoing exhibitions at fashion museums around the world. Some galleries have a monographic focus on a particular designer or fashion house, while others attempt to convey the history of a period through a survey of its dress.

The sustained popularity of recent Alexander McQueen exhibitions at New York’s Metropolitan Museum and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum have demonstrated the viability of blockbuster fashion exhibitions, and their critical successes have revived curatorial interest in dress and costume history in general.

Major exhibitions opening in Boston and New York this spring will examine the expanding role of technology in fashion – from the construction of 3D-printed garments to the marketing of tweetable looks. More tightly focused shows from Vilnius, Lithuania to Paris will focus on the biographical importance of clothing to their collectors in shaping the tastes and trends of European fashion.

Make the most of this renaissance in fashion studies by planning ahead with SUITCASE’s annotated calendar of this year’s fashion exhibitions. This guide covers what’s coming up at well-known institutions, but it should also encourage you to skip the long lines at tourist trap mega-museums and discover some of the most memorable and thoughtfully considered fashion museum collections off the beaten path.

United States

Boston, United States, Museum of Fine Arts

#techstyle6 March through 10 July 2016

New York, United States, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology5 May through 14 August 2016

New York, United States, Fashion Institute of Technology

Fairy Tale Fashionthrough 16 April 2016

Denim: Fashion’s Frontierthrough 7 May 2016

The Women of Harper’s Bazaar, 1936-19581 March through 2 April

Proust’s Musefrom September 2016 through 7 January 2017

Providence, United States, RISD Museum

Swagged and Poufed: The Upholstered Body in the Late 19th Century and Todaythrough 3 July 2016

Kent, Ohio, United States, Kent State University Museum of Fashion

Focus: Fiber 201612 February 2016 through 3 July 2016

Flapper Style: 1920s Fashionthrough 4 September 2016

Inside Out: Revealing Clothing’s Hidden Secretsthrough 31 July 2016

Philadelphia, United States, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Art of the Zo: Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladeshthrough 20 March 2016

San Francisco, United States, De Young Museum

Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospectivefrom 12 March 2016 to 30 May 2016

Los Angeles, United States, FIDM Museum

24th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Designthrough 30 April 2016

A Graceful Gift: Fans from the Mona Lee Nesseth Follectionthrough 2 July 2016

Hooped: Dress of the 1860sthrough 24 March 2016

Los Angeles, United States, LACMA

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015From 10 April 2016 – 21 April 2016


Toronto, Canada, Bata Shoe Museum

Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heelsthrough June 2016

Montreal, Canada, McCord Museum

Wearing Our Identity: The First Peoples CollectionPermanent

Eleganza: Italian Fashion, from 1945 to Today26 May 2016 – 25 September 2016


Paris, France, Musée Galliera

Wardrobe of Elizabeth, Countess Greffulhethrough 20 March 2016

Anatomy of a Collectionfrom 14 May 2016 to 8 January 2017

Granville, France, Musée Christian Dior

Une Maison, Des Collectionsthrough 6 March 2016

Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Fashion Forward: Three Centuries of Fashion (1715-2015)from 7 April 2016 through 14 August 2016

Tenue Correcte Exigée: Quand le Vetement Fait Scandalefrom 1 December 2016 through 23 April 2017

London, United Kingdom, Victoria & Albert Museum

Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collectionthrough 10 April 2016

London, United Kingdom, Fashion and Textile Museum

Art Textiles: Marian Clayden from 11 March through 17 April 2016

Bath, United Kingdom, Fashion Museum

A History of Fashion in 100 Objectsfrom 19 March 2016 through 1 January 2018

Behind the Scenesthrough 6 November 2016

Manchester, United Kingdom, Manchester Art Gallery

Schiaparelli and Thirties Fashionthrough 9 October 2016

Liverpool, United Kingdom, Walker Art Gallery

Transformation: One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobethrough February 2017

Liverpool, United Kingdom, Lady Lever Art Gallery

Putting on the Glitz: 1930s Eveningwearthrough 28 February 2016

Madrid, Spain, Museo del Traje

Mujeres que cambian el mundothrough 27 March 2016

Getaria, Spain, Cristobal Belenciaga Museoa

Balenciaga. The Experience of Luxurythrough 1 March 2016

Florence, Italy, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

A Palace and the Citythrough 3 April 2016

Venice, Italy, Palazzo Fortuny

Henriette Fortuny: Portrait of a Musethrough 13 March 2016

Amsterdam, Tassenmuseum Hendrikje

Exhibition: Street Couturethrough 5 June 2016

Rotterdam, Netherlands,  Museum Boijmans Van Beunignen

“Van Gogh Girls” From Viktor & Rolf SS15 Haute Couturethrough 14 February 2016

Antwerp, Belgium, ModeMuseum

Footprint, the Track of Shoes in Fashionthrough 14 February 2016

Game Changers – Reinventing the 20th Century Silhouettefrom 18 March 2016 – 14 August 2016

Demi-Couture: Haute Couture references in recent acquisitionsthrough 8 April 2016

Hasselt, Belgium, ModeMuseum

Haute-à-Porterfrom 2 April 2016 through 11 September 2016

Vilnius, Lithuania, Museum of Applied Art

Invitation to the Ball, from the collection of Alexandre Vassilievthrough 10 May 2016

Rest of World

Seoul, South Korea, Simone Handbag Museum


Sydney, Australia, Powerhouse Museum

Collette Dinnigan: Unlacedthrough 28 August 2016

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