Exhibiting Fashion: Before and After 1971

Overview

With the dramatic increase in popularity of fashion exhibitions over the past decade, this groundbreaking book provides a timely look at the evolution of the practice, taking as its anchor the seminal 1971 Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition Fashion: An Anthology by Cecil Beaton, revealing it to be symptomatic of a shift in museological attitudes. The authors’ combined experience of more than forty years, one in architecture and exhibition design and the other in fashion history and curating, informs their ...

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Overview

With the dramatic increase in popularity of fashion exhibitions over the past decade, this groundbreaking book provides a timely look at the evolution of the practice, taking as its anchor the seminal 1971 Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition Fashion: An Anthology by Cecil Beaton, revealing it to be symptomatic of a shift in museological attitudes. The authors’ combined experience of more than forty years, one in architecture and exhibition design and the other in fashion history and curating, informs their detailed account of the exhibition. Accompanied by photographs of Beaton’s museum work published here for the first time, their narrative establishes a perspective from which to view working practices today.

Research into international exhibitions from the early 20th century to the present results in some 150 stunning illustrations, including previously unpublished exhibition photographs and out-of-print documents. Through this research and the testimony of curators, exhibition designers, and mannequin manufacturers, the authors discover striking continuity in the development of the fundamental equation of mannequin, dress, and mise-en-scène. A comprehensive chronology from 1971 illustrates the exponential rise in exhibitions of Western dress on an international scale.

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Editorial Reviews

Independent on Sunday

“[T]his groundbreaking book provides a timely look at the evolution of the practice, taking as its anchor the seminal 1971 Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition ‘Fashion: An Anthology by Cecil Beaton’. The authors’ combined experience of more than 40 years – one in architecture and exhibition design and the other in fashion history and curating – informs this detailed account of the exhibition.”—Independent on Sunday
Daily Beast
“Clark and De La Haye’s book is centered around many photographs from the exhibition that have never been published, as well as case studies on museum collections. True to her unusual approach towards exhibiting, Clark invites the reader see exhibitions in a new light.”—Daily Beast
Library Journal
07/01/2014
Coauthors Clark and de le Haye, former curators at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) and instructors at the London College of Fashion, provide a convincing case that 1971 was a turning point in the exhibition of fashion. That year saw the seminal exhibit Cecil Beaton's Fashion: An Anthology at the V&A, a show that was radical for its inclusion of contemporary couture clothing donated by Cecil Beaton's socialite friends as well as innovative designers. The authors use this exhibition and the museum's 1946 Britain Can Make It show to frame a history of museological trends regarding decisions of dress, mannequin, and mise-en-scène styling. The volume includes a history of display prior to 1971, a reconstruction and analysis of the Beaton exhibition, and an illustrated inventory of fashion shows worldwide from the Seventies to the present. While the use of page and type color to demarcate the text's organization favors visual interest over readability, students should not be put off by this—the work provides a scholarly and multifaceted perspective on a watershed event in fashion exhibition. VERDICT This book will be fascinating for those serious about fashion and changing trends in its museum presentation.—Nancy B. Turner, Temple Univ. Lib., Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300125795
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 688,634
  • Product dimensions: 13.10 (w) x 15.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Clark is professor of fashion and museology and Amy de la Haye is professor of dress history and curatorship, Rootstein Hopkins Chair, both at the London College of Fashion. Jeffrey Horsley is an independent curator and writer.

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