5 Fashion Exhibits Perfect for True Fashion Nerds!

While shopping is a passion for many of us, REAL fashion nerds are in for an amazing season with several fashion exhibits that are popping up this winter all along the East Coast. Grab your friends, and make a short trip up to NYC or to Philly (or both, honestly) and get ready for a full-on fashion nerd out, Gucci glasses not required.

Rodarte, Spring/Summer 2018 runway; Courtesy of Rodarte; Photo © Greg Kessler/Kessler Studio
Rodarte, Spring/Summer 2018 runway; Courtesy of Rodarte; Photo © Greg Kessler/Kessler Studio


Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

When: November 10 – February 10

What: The celebrated American luxury fashion house Rodarte, founded by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, is featured this fall in the first fashion exhibition organized by NMWA. Rodarte showcases the designers’ visionary concepts, impeccable craftsmanship, and profound impact on the fashion industry. The exhibition explores the distinctive design principles, material concerns, and reoccurring themes that position the Mulleavys’ work within the landscape of contemporary art and fashion. Spanning the first 13 years of Rodarte, more than 90 complete looks, presented as they were shown on the runway, highlight selections from their most pivotal collections. Through a conceptual blend of high fashion and modern femininity that employs a multiplicity of textiles and meticulous couture techniques, Rodarte has drawn critical acclaim from both the art and fashion worlds since its inception in 2005.

Why: This is NMWA’s first fashion exhibit and it is going to be amazing. Remember Rodarte’s capsule collection for Target 10 years ago, me too. Also, if you’re going let me know and I will go literally anytime.

Dress 1994, by Pierre Cardin from Archives Pierre Cardin
Dress 1994, by Pierre Cardin © Archives Pierre Cardin

“Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now” 

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art

When: October 16, 2018 – March 3, 2019

What: Experience the drama and glamour of some of the most creative feminine fashions ever designed, from romantic ball gowns to audacious contemporary ensembles, and everything in between. See how designers have used color and pattern, shape and volume, draping, metallics, and embellishments to continually reinvent the art form. The pieces in the exhibition—daywear, bridal wear, and more—showcase the Museum’s outstanding costume collection. Many are on view for the first time.

Why: The Dior exhibit we were all dying to go to in Paris is here now + Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, Cardin, and other big names of the last 100 years.

MET costume institute
MET costume institute

“Fashion in Art” at the MET

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York

When: Reoccurring with appointment, next November 13, 2018

What: This innovative tour offers insights into the landmarks of costume history and examines the different materials used from the sixth century b.c. through modern times. Highlighting clothing represented in stone, wood, paint, and other media used throughout the Museum’s collections, the tour covers trends and developments from all over the world starting in ancient Greece and continuing through the twentieth century.

Why: A private tour of the Met Costume Institute Exhibits? For free? Yes please! This is absolute peak fashion nerd fodder.

“PINK: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color” 

Where: Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, New York City, New York

When: September 7, 2018 – January 5, 2019

What: Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color is organized by the museum’s director and chief curator, Dr. Valerie Steele. Pink features approximately 80 ensembles from the 18th century to the present, with examples by designers and brands such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Alessandro Michele of Gucci, Jeremy Scott of Moschino, and Rei Kawakubo and of Comme des Garçons.

Although pink is popularly associated with little girls, ballerinas, and all things feminine, the stereotype of pink for girls and blue for boys only really gained traction in the United States in the mid-20th century, and the symbolism of pink has varied greatly across world history. By placing men’s, women’s, and children’s pink clothing from both Western and non-Western cultures — including India, Africa, Mexico, and Japan — in a historical context, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color corrects popular misconceptions, encourages viewers to question clichés and received opinion, and demonstrates that “It is society that ‘makes’ color, defines it, gives it meaning” — to quote the great color historian Michel Pastoureau.

Why: Hot tip: take a MegaBus from DC to NYC and it will drop you off right in front of this little museum. Perfect way to start off your trip to USA’s fashion capital!

Publicity Photo, Spring 1956. The James G. Galanos Archive at Drexel University.
Publicity Photo, Spring 1956. The James G. Galanos Archive at Drexel University.

“James Galanos: Design Integrity”

Where: The Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC) of Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design

When: October 19-December 8, January 8-27 2019

What: The Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC) of Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design will present a retrospective exhibition of work by renowned fashion designer James Galanos. The exhibit will place his work in the context of American fashion from the post-war period through the 1990s and celebrate his innovative approach to construction and embellishment. This reevaluation will assert his role as one of the premier designers of the 20th century and will be designed to appeal to younger audiences who may not be familiar with his work. The exhibition will draw heavily from the primary materials of the James G. Galanos Archive at Drexel University, creating an immersive experience and allowing for a greater understanding of this intensely private designer. On view will be approximately 50 ensembles alongside a rich array of sketches, photographs and other related materials.

Why: Though lesser known, during his day, Galanos dressed the who’s who of society including Rosalind Russell, Marilyn Monroe, and former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

What fashion exhibits are you looking forward to? If you go to any of the exhibits, tag #thelowlowstyle on your Instagram stories so we can live vicariously through you! 


One thought on “5 Fashion Exhibits Perfect for True Fashion Nerds!

  1. Yes 👏 Awesome post! I am an avid fashion nerd myself so I really enjoyed this. I’ve seen Pink at the Museum at FIT and Fabulous at the PMA, but have not yet been to the others unfortunately. When I went to the PMA I also saw the Little Ladies: Victorian Fashion Dolls exhibit (and just wrote a post on this myself!). I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on that exhibit too!

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