The Intersection of Fashion and Art: Exhibits to See in 2017

“Fashion vs. art.” “Wearable art.” “The art of fashion.” Any way you swing it, fashion and art’s undeniable relationship is a hot topic, and exhibition venues around the world are capitalizing on it.  To honor the beginning of fashion month, here’s a list of the most compelling shows taking place now through next fall.


“Where Are We Going?” by Chiharu Shiota 

Le Bon Marché; Paris, France

On view through February 18


Using 300,000 yards of white cotton thread, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota has created a stunning, immersive installation in Paris’s historic department store Le Bon Marché.



“Manolo Blahnik. The Art of Shoes” 

Palazzo Morando; Milan, Italy

Closes April 9

Photo// Andrea Delbò

Showcasing 212 shoes and 80 sketches, this exhibit is a celebration of the iconic designer’s career, which spans nearly five decades.



“Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion”

Carnegie Museum of Art; Pittsburgh, PA

Closes May 1

Photo// Twitter (@cmoa)

Making its third stop in America, this exhibit of groundbreaking Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s work focuses on her innovative use of technology and unconventional materials.



Bjarne Melgaard’s “The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment”

Red Bull Arts; New York, NY

February 16–April 9

Hanna Hazel for Art Zealous

Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard is rocking the New York art scene with the next installment of his ongoing critique of fashion and consumerism. On Valentine’s Day, he kicked things off by giving away $500,000 worth of his own designer duds, and on February 16, the multi-level psychopathological department store experience he’s co-created with creative director Babak Radboy will open to the public.



“WOW® World of WearableArt™” 

The Peabody Essex Museum; Salem, MA

February 18–June 11


Bringing a taste of New Zealand’s world-renowned wearable art competition to the U.S., this exhibit will feature 32 unbelievable outfits that were top contenders in years past.



“Brilliant Partners: Judith Leiber’s Handbags & the Art of Gerson Leiber” 

The Long Island Museum; Stony Brook, NY

February 24–June 4


This dynamic couple has been married for 70 years—she’s an internationally celebrated designer and he’s a fine artist. This exhibit will showcase their work side by side, thereby highlighting the strong influence that each has had on the other over the years. Can’t get enough of Judith’s bags? Another show featuring her designs opens in April at MAD in New York City.



“The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll”

The de Young Museum; San Francisco, CA

April 8–August 20, 2017


This exhibition will showcase artifacts such as iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, and avant-garde films from the summer of 1967 when the Haight-Asbury neighborhood of San Francisco became a hub of artists, activists, writers, and musicians who wanted to create a new social paradigm.



“Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York, NY

May 4–September 4, 2017


Three days after the Met Gala, the Met’s Costume Institute will open a show to expand upon the theme of the big event. Perhaps the most highly anticipated exhibit on this list, it will examine Commes des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo’s revolutionary work.