There's no doubt that some of the recent large-scale fashion exhibitions have truly been wondrous sights to behold, but with funding being shoveled into these events from all sorts of places, it raises the bar on fashion exhibitions leaving smaller, far less well funded exhibitions out in the cold. For every "Punk: Chaos to Couture" there are a dozen "Front Row"s, and all of them are suffering in the new market.
It was the legendary Diana Vreeland, former American Vogue editor and special consultant to the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute from 1973 to 1987, who said successful fashion exhibitions needed to be experienced, not just seen. And indeed, the exhibitions she helped to stage at the museum, including “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design” and “The Glory of Russian Costume,” were experiential extravaganzas that drew large crowds and helped raise the profile of the Costume Institute’s annual benefit. In recent history, perhaps nowhere was Vreeland’s ethos more alive than in the Costume Institute’s 2011 blockbuster “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” a highly immersive exhibition that broke all previous attendance records, attracting 661,509 visitors over the course of three months. (Read More)