Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pushing the limits with fashion as fine art – 2012 schedule of fashion exhibitions

Back in 2007 The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles ( MOCA ) hosted an unusual show: © MURAKAMI, a retrospective of Takashi Murakami's career. A very significant chapter in his career was the work his studio produced for Louis Vuitton.

The opening party for the MOCA show attracted huge crowds. From a commercial standpoint – this exhibition created a tidal wave of controversy over having a fully functional LV retail boutique right in the middle of the art exhibition. Here crowds of women rushed to pay more than $1,000 for the ltd. edition fashion accessories. Many would wait for an hour as the ‘boutique’ was full to capacity. Later there were reports that some of the printed leather hides framed as art were not so limited after all.

It took other art museums a few years to realize this business model. However the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s McQueen blockbuster exhibition ‘SAVAGE BEAUTY’ reinforced the lure of fashion in art museums and the revenues that followed.

As we look to 2012- will any museum stores dare to be as bold as LV and MOCA? Time will tell.

The pressure will be on the MET Museum’s Costume Institute to comp. McQueen with the PRADA show opening in May. How interesting that Amazon is the corporate sponsor for the exhibition. One can already see the digital frenzy of marketing and mobile commerce opportunities. The exhibition catalog is already available to pre-order on but the current pub. date of May 29th has it arriving a few weeks late.

So, anyone planning to attend the NY Stationery show (starting May 20th) should allow time to shop/see the show - and the related retail merchandise. Meanwhile, please note the calendar below for the 2012 schedule of major fashion exhibitions.

“IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA”
The Museum at FIT, New York
February 10 – April 17, 2012

“Yves Saint Laurent — The Retrospective”
Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
Opens March 25

“Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs,” a retrospective of Jacobs’ work at LV
Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris
March 9 to September 16

“Christian Louboutin,” a retrospective of the designer
Design Museum, London
March 28

Diana Vreeland
Fortuny Museum, Venice, Italy
March 2012

“Fifty Years of James Bond Style” with pieces from Giorgio Armani, Prada, Oscar de la Renta and other designers
The Barbican, London
April 2012

“Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion”
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
May 10 – August 19

“Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950″
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
May 19, 2012 – January 26, 2013

Also planning to stage retrospective exhibitions next year are Balmain and Chloé , though no further details are known just yet.

Schiaparelli’s trompe l’oeil Tear Dress & Miuccia Prada’s shoe-and-sock boots from the 2011/12 Winter collection.

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