With two new YSL fashion museums opening next year, we stitched together the five best designer museums to visit on your Fashion Birthright Tour.

Fashion

4.26.2016

The Top 5 Fashion Exhibitions That'll Inspire You To Create

Saint Laurent may have dropped the Yves (and the Hedi), but that doesn’t mean the iconic founder’s influence has left the fashion house. From the moment Yves Saint Laurent launched his namesake brand in 1961, to his retirement from fashion in 2002, the legendary designer used fabric to create magic. He was the first living designer to have a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983, and now, eight years after his death, decades of photos and garments from his era as the head of the brand continue to populate museums around the world.

Next year, an exquisite silver-threaded lining will counteract all of the potentially depressing world developments (like saying President Trump) as two new YSL museums open their doors to art and fashion lovers alike. The autumn months will bring Saint Laurent’s work to life in two cities that were integral to his legacy: Paris and Marrakesh.

Next year, two new museums will honor Yves Saint Laurent's life and work.
Next year, two new museums will honor Yves Saint Laurent’s life and work.

For those among us who haven’t studied his life (or seen the exquisite Bertrand Bonello-directed Saint Laurent film starring French movie stars Gaspard Ulliel and Milk fav Louis Garrel), the two cities are where some of his most profound collections came together. The Parisian museum will be based out of former Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent after renovations are finished, and feature constantly updated displays of his former collections, while the Marrakesh museum will be at Rue Yves Saint Laurent and feature even more pieces from his extensive collection.

Now that you’ve officially dusted off your spreadsheet to figure out how exactly you’re going to budget a trip to the two museums next week, it may be time to plan the ultimate Fashion Birthright Journey. To help destroy your life savings but attain ultimate fashion clarity, we’ve stitched together the five best fashion museums around the world that you need to see.

“Items: Is Fashion Modern?” at the MoMA, New York

The ultimate guide to fashion’s most iconic garments is heading to the MoMA, and we couldn’t be more excited for it. Next year’s gallery will feature ninety-nine pieces of clothing that have influenced the world in the most major way. They’re organized in three tiers: archetype, stereotype, and prototype. This will give a historic context to everything from Diane von Furstenberg’s 1974 wrap dress to the Doc Marten boots. In addition to these kinds of iconic pieces, it’ll also pay homage to religious garb like Jewish yarmulkes and Arab keffiyehs, creating a visual gallery of the pieces of clothing that fashion has built from.

When to View: It will be on display from December 10, 2017–April 1, 2018.

The Doc Marten Classic Airwear shoe was introduced in 1960. It will go on display next year at the new MoMA gallery.
The Doc Marten Classic Airwear shoe was introduced in 1960. It will go on display next year at the new MoMA gallery.

The Armani/Silos Exhibition Space, Milan

As Kanye West once said, “[It’s] hard to be humble when you stuntin on a jumbotron.” Legendary fashion designer Giorgio Armani must’ve gotten the memo because last year, he opened a four-story temple to himself and his innumerable collections. Steering clear of calling it a museum, the “exhibition space” is in a former Nestlé granary. It’s a stunning collection of everything Armani—including about 600 garments. Come for the clothes and stay for the gorgeous monolithic fashion tomb and soothing handpicked music that Armani himself chose to accompany you on your journey.

When to View: Right now! The exhibition space is permanently open.

The four-story tomb of Armani is called Armani/Silos, and it's a glorious display of the designer's catalogue.
The four-story tomb of Armani is called Armani/Silos, and it’s a glorious display of the designer’s catalogue.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Much like your camera roll on your iPhone, this gallery will feature dozens of beautiful pairs of underwear. The only different is that instead of sexy bulges, the esteemed V&A Museum’s Undressed gallery will show you how the world went from corsets to #MyCalvins. We’re always down to see how morality and sex have been shaped by the evolution of underwear, but this one comes with a bonus. The Juicy Couture tracksuit that all the cool moms and powerwalking grandmothers wear is on display as well. Prepare those frequent flyer miles and plan your trip to London now. The Juicy tracksuit waits for no one.

When to View: It’s on display now and will end in a year, on March 12, 2017. 

That's right. The Juicy Couture tracksuit your grandma wears is high fashion at this underwear exhibition.
That’s right. The Juicy Couture tracksuits beloved by Paris Hilton are high fashion at this underwear exhibition.

“The Jeremy Scott 20th Anniversary Retrospective” at the Dallas Contemporary Museum, Dallas

Despite only being 40 years old, pop culture’s favorite designer is staging a retrospective of his two decades-long career in Dallas. That may be literally half of his life on display but there will be no shortage of garments. He has 26,000 square feet at his disposal, which shouldn’t be a problem given his larger-than-life persona. No matter what happens when the People’s Designer unveils the exhibition, we know it will be the most colorful fashion gallery in decades when it houses the maximalist designer’s most eccentric collections.

When to View: There’s no official date set for it, but it’s set to open in 2017.

Jeremy Scott has been in fashion literally half his life, and now those 20 years are becoming a new retrospective exhibit in Dallas.
Jeremy Scott has been in fashion literally half his life, and now those 20 years are becoming a new retrospective exhibit in Dallas.

The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, Internet

Here’s a great way to end your whirlwind tour of the best fashion museums that the world has to offer. Valentino Garavani began his foray into museums in 2011 with a showing at the Somerset House in London. After that ended, the acclaimed designer jumped from the runway to the Internet with a fully-virtual museum that can be visited anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re returning home from your fashion journey or laying out on a beach relaxing, this museum is full of thousands of images and hundreds of photos from the Valentino collection—and its only a few clicks away.

When to View: Whenever you want. Its virtual doors are always open.

Walk through the virtual halls whenever you want. The Valentino museum is online-only.
Walk through the virtual halls whenever you want. Like our social lives, the Valentino museum is online-only.

Stay tuned to Milk for more fashion museums. 

Images via Vogue UK, MoMA, Armani/Silos, Victoria and Albert, AP Photo, and Valentino. 

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