6 Must-See Fashion Exhibitions to Visit in London 2024

Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto — The V&A

Chart­ing the evo­lu­tion of her icon­ic design style and the estab­lish­ment of the House of CHANEL, from the open­ing of her first millinery bou­tique in Paris in 1910 to the show­ing of her final col­lec­tion in 1971. The exhi­bi­tion explores Chanel’s pio­neer­ing approach to fash­ion design, which paved the way for a new ele­gance and con­tin­ues to influ­ence the way women dress today. Fea­tur­ing over 200 looks seen togeth­er for the first time, as well as acces­sories, per­fumes and jew­ellery, this exhi­bi­tion is a must see for any fash­ion enthusiast.

The Cult of Beauty — Wellcome Collection

This entic­ing exhi­bi­tion explores notions of beau­ty across time and cul­tures. It exam­ines the pro­found influ­ence of moral­i­ty, sta­tus and health, age, race, and gen­der on the evo­lu­tion of ideas about beau­ty through his­to­ry. The exhi­bi­tion includes over 200 objects and art­works fea­tur­ing artists Juno Calyp­so, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, and Angéli­ca Dass amongst oth­ers.

The Missing Thread: Untold Stories of Black British Fashion — Somerset House

Span­ning from the 1970s to the present day, the exhi­bi­tion charts the shift­ing land­scape of Black British cul­ture and the unique con­tri­bu­tion it has made to Britain’s rich fash­ion design his­to­ry. Set against a back­drop of pol­i­tics and cul­ture, the show exam­ines how Black style and cre­ativ­i­ty has evolved across the decades and in turn influ­enced the world of fash­ion through music, pho­tog­ra­phy, art and design. The exhi­bi­tion will tell the sto­ry of Black cre­ativ­i­ty through four dis­tinct themes — Home, Tai­lor­ing, Per­for­mance and Nightlife — each ref­er­enc­ing the spaces which inspired and allowed the cul­ture of Black British fash­ion and design to devel­op on its own terms.

The Biba Story: 1964–1975 — Fashion and Textile Museum

This is the only exhi­bi­tion to look at the his­to­ry of Biba, from the first sim­ple shift dress­es, to the glam­orous devoré wraps, sequinned bodices, leop­ard print coats, trouser suits, flop­py hats and feath­er boas that came to epit­o­mise the Biba look. Drawn from Bar­bara Hulanicki’s pri­vate archives includ­ing her press books, cor­re­spon­dence, and mar­ket­ing mate­r­i­al, The Biba Sto­ry, 1964–1975 visu­al­ly charts the rise of Biba with over a hun­dred items includ­ing extreme­ly rare arti­cles of cloth­ing loaned by pri­vate collectors.

Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion — Design Museum

Rebel: 30 Years of Lon­don Fash­ion fea­tures near­ly 100 inno­v­a­tive fash­ion looks from ground-break­ing debut and ear­ly col­lec­tions from the NEWGEN alum­ni. Many of these cre­ations have entered pop-cul­ture his­to­ry — and launched glob­al design careers.

Fashion City — Museum of London Docklands

The exhi­bi­tion that reveals the sto­ries behind the Jew­ish fash­ion mak­ers who became lead­ers in their indus­tries, found­ed retail chains still on the high street today, and dressed the rich and famous – includ­ing David Bowie, Princess Diana and Mick Jag­ger. You’ll find your­self being trans­port­ed into a Lon­don that only exists in the his­to­ry books through the sto­ries of the cloth­ing on display.