Dresses from Madame Grès (1903-1993) on display at the Musée Bourdelle in Paris.
Photo credit: Trendland
Is fashion exhibition worthy? If only the crowds in the museums answer the question. This summer, crowds are going to the openings in Musée Bourdelle in Paris for the Madame Grès exhibition, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for the “Savage Beauty” show, Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris for Hussein Chalayan, Pushkin Museum in Moscow for an “Inspiration Dior” exhibition, and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for the Jean Paul Gaultier show, … and the list goes on.
The moving exhibitions in museums around the world is straight forward – putting the dresses in the museums, better yet, juxtaposing them against relevant sculptures or paintings. Funding for these exhibitions, however, could be a complex subject. The director of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts insisted that the show in the museum had to be independently curated and funded; indicating that an exhibition mounted by a fashion house can hardly be objective. London’s V&A museum also adheres to a scholarly approach to fashion, as noted by its senior fashion curator, Claire Wilcox: “for me, objectivity is the key”. But Ms. Debo, the director of MoMu in Antwerp does not see problems of self-funded fashion exhibits in museums as long as there is an agreement of the collaboration.
After all, can a museum be just a showcase?