The Must Visit Exhibitions Throughout Summer 2024

Emma Hodgson   |   19-06-2024

These are the must-visit galleries over the coming months around the world.

The worlds of art and fashion often go hand in hand. Whether it’s some of the leading fashion houses championing the work of unique artists around the globe – such as the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, and the Fondazione Prada in Milan – or leading art houses presenting the work of artistic directors from the great fashion houses. Below we explore some of the best exhibitions which celebrate the creative minds behind some of the biggest names in fashion this summer. 

From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce&Gabbana, Palazzo Reale, Milan

This summer Palazzo Reale in Milan invites you on a tour to explore the genius behind the house of Dolce&Gabbana. The “From the Heart to the Hands” exhibition explores the designs of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana over the house’s nearly 40-year history. The exhibition offers an immersive exploration curated by Florence Müller through unique collections by the house. On display are one-off pieces from D&G’s Alta Moda, Alta Sartoria and Alta Gioielleria collections amongst other exquisite pieces. The exhibition offers the opportunity to discover the muses, experiences and creative works that have sparked the designers’ inspiration over the years. The works on display also offer the opportunity to see the craftsmanship and savoir-faire that goes into the creations at the iconic Italian house. According to the house, the new exhibit is “a declaration of love to Italian culture…from the heart, where ideas are born, to the hands, the means through which they take shape.” The exhibit at Milan’s Palazzo Reale also includes many immersive installations and specially commissioned digital artworks which place multiple creative languages in dialogue with the brand’s unique creations, building a journey through the different facets of D&G’s style, from visual arts to architecture, from music to Italian traditions and from theatre to the Dolce Vita.

The exhibition runs until the 31st of July;

Viktor&Rolf. Fashion Statements, Kunsthalle München, Munich

In the first major display of the work by Viktor&Rolf, this exhibition in Munich explores the creative inspiration, unique designs and maverick journey through the fashion industry that the house has gone on. For more than three decades, Dutch fashion artists Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have been exploring with breathtaking virtuosity the boundaries between the worlds of haute couture and art. The self-confessed fashion-world outsiders have gained critical acclaim for their unconventional approach to design, technical perfection, and deep knowledge of fashion and art history. Their creations have been embraced by artists such as Madonna, Tilda Swinton, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Doja Cat, and Cardi B and were staged in numerous ballets, as well as in an opera directed by Robert Wilson. The exhibition features some of Viktor&Rolf’s most extraordinary and avant-garde works. Reflecting the duo’s passions, obsessions and singular vision, the exceptional presentation will showcase 100 of their most daring creations – many exhibited for the first time – from the designers’ own archive as well as important private collections.“We are thrilled to show a selection of more than 30 years of our work at the Kunsthalle München” say Viktor&Rolf. “We have always felt strongly about the way museum shows complement our seasonal catwalk presentations. Exhibitions are more democratic than the runway: they allow more visitors, and they last longer. They can show that certain themes recur over the years and put a spotlight onto the sublime craftsmanship that goes into the creation of our pieces.”

The exhibition runs until the 6th of October;

Icons of British Fashion, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

The spectacular Blenheim Palace nestled in the Oxford countryside has opened its doors this summer to a new exhibition centred upon the Icons of British Fashion. Each space along the visitor route in the 300-year-old Palace pays homage to a British fashion icon. The tour starts in the property’s Great Hall with designs on display by the late Dame Vivienne Westwood and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler. As the exhibition moves through different epochs, designers and icons, the Palace features, a wide range of inspirations including Sir Winston Churchill. Visitors can see one of the original Churchill Siren Suits, loaned by Turnbull & Asser, as well as a new take on the iconic boiler suit and a smoking cap designed by Steven Jones. Iconic designers and famous houses on display in the exhibit include Barbour, Lulu Guinness, Stella McCartney, Christian Dior, Temperley London and more. For those looking for a little something extra, the Palace is also hosting a British Fashion afternoon tea throughout the exhibit, which is available at the Palace’s eatery with advanced booking. 

The exhibition runs until the 30th of June;

Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Throughout the summer months, New York’s leading gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is showcasing one of the must-visit exhibits of 2024:  ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’. The exhibition features 220 garments and accessories that are connected visually through nature, which also serves as a metaphor for the transience of fashion. The show aims to bring to life the sensory capacities of these masterworks through a wide range of encounters: visitors are invited to smell the aromatic histories of hats bearing floral motifs; touch the walls of galleries that are embossed with the embroidery of select garments; and experience – via the illusion technique known as Pepper’s ghost – how the “hobble skirt” restricted women’s stride in the early 20th century. Punctuating the galleries are a series of “sleeping beauties” – garments that can no longer be dressed on mannequins due to their extreme fragility. Discussing the unique new exhibit, Max Hollein, the Museum’s Marina Kellen French Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Met’s innovative spring 2024 Costume Institute exhibition pushes the boundaries of our imagination and invites us to experience the multisensory facets of a garment – those facets that deteriorate and become lost after entering a museum collection as an object. Sleeping Beauties heightens our engagement with these masterpieces of fashion by evoking what it was like to feel, move, hear, smell, and interact with them when they could be worn, ultimately offering a deeper appreciation of the integrity, beauty, and artistic brilliance of the works on display.” 

The exhibition runs until the 2nd of September;