Dior, Autumn / Winter 2010 (2010) by Michael HowellsOriginal Source: Michael HowellsMichael Howells
From glamorous palaces to colleges where the future stars of design hone their skills, you can take a virtual journey to the places where fashion comes alive. Here are 11 top stylish locations around the world that you can explore with Street View...
1. Palace of Versailles
Louis XIV was a king who recognized the importance of image. Not only was his wardrobe a thing of beauty, but he revolutionized the fashion industry itself and turned Versailles into a scene where his court could show off the constantly updating trends and textiles of the seasons. In 1973 the palace once again became a hub for cutting-edge couture as the location for the Battle of Versailles Fashion Show, which pitted French and American designers against each other to raise money for the building’s restoration.
2. Palazzo Pitti
The Sala Bianca, or "white hall", in Florence’s Palazzo Pitti is where Italian fashion was born in 1951. It was here that Italian designers began to showcase their collections on the runway, making it the home of luxury fashion by the early 1960s. Recalling the days of Italy’s burgeoning fashion week, Karl Lagerfeld made the Renaissance palace the venue for his 2016 Visions of Fashion photography exhibition, which showcased over 200 of his prints, including some never-before-seen works. The grand halls became the ornate backdrop to elegant magazine shoot images, photo series inspired by classic mythology and haute couture editorials.
3. Bunka Fashion College
Bunka Fashion College began in 1919 as a dressmaking school for girls and in 1936 went on to publish Japan’s first fashion magazine. Today its alumni include Kenzō Takada, Yohji Yamamoto and Tsumori Chisato. The College emphasizes the importance of understanding body shape, and each year creates new mannequins based on the average measurements of its students. This ensures that the pupils aren’t working to the standard dummies used around the world, but with shapes that are more reflective of real people’s forms.
4. Los Angeles County Museum of Art
More than twenty thousand objects, from more than one hundred cultures spanning two thousand years can be found in the impressive collection at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. LACMA’s dedication to the history of fashion goes so far that they spent a decade hunting down an authentic 1940s zoot suit, which they finally acquired at an auction for $78,000. The piece was displayed at their ‘Reigning Men’ exhibit, which showcased men’s fashion from 1715 to 2015.
5. ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen
MoMu celebrates historical expertise as well as Belgian contemporary fashion, which is said to have been kickstarted by the infamous Antwerp 6; a group of designers who packed themselves into a van and headed to London to exhibit their unique work in the 80s. This helped launch Antwerp as a reputable fashion scene that continues to be celebrated today through the museum’s adventurous and dynamic exhibits. MoMu aims to view fashion in its social, political and cultural context by adapting their space to the individual concepts of designers and their teams.
6. Museo Frida Kahlo
After Frida Kahlo died in 1954, Diego Rivera, her husband, placed her clothes and belongings in the bathroom of their house and locked the door with the instruction that no one was to enter it until 15 years after his own death. The room wasn't opened until 2004 and her iconic wardrobe went on show for the first time at the Museo Frida Kahlo, their former home. The artist’s clothing not only expressed her personality and creativity, but it was also a way for her to disguise and decorate her physical wounds; with long skirts, an ornamented prosthetic leg and painted plaster corsets.
7. German Hat Museum
From bonnets to bowlers, The German Hat Museum explores the technical and cultural history of over 250 types of hats. This homage to all things millinery is housed in a former hat factory in Westallgäu, one of Germany’s most important hat-making centers - known in it’s heyday as "Little Paris". The impressively showcased hats, including a hypnotizing hat tornado display, earned the space the Bavarian Museum Prize in 2015. It not only looks at the process behind making hats, but also the social meaning behind different types of headgear.
8. Kobe Fashion Museum
The first fashion museum in Japan, the Kobe Fashion Museum exhibits dresses and costumes from cultures all around the world. The futuristic building, which has been likened to Star Trek’s "Starship Enterprise" is also home to a library, a laboratory and an event hall, making this an epicenter for all things fashion. The extensive library is a haven for creatives, containing books on every aspect of fashion and design imaginable as well as Vogues from around the world.
9. Museu do Índio
The Museu do Índio in Brazil is dedicated to the cultural heritage of indigenous people around the world. Its exhibition on craftsmanship brings together pieces from 42 ethnic groups from Africa, Asia and the Americas, with a focus on the art of beading and its connection to diversity and tolerance. As well as showcasing the beautiful handcrafted jewelry and accessories, it explores the relationship between these colorful ornaments, and trade and exploration.
10. Museu del Disseny de Barcelona
Housing clothing from as far back as the 3rd-9th centuries, the Design Museum of Barcelona presents historic clothing and accessories from across the world. The oldest pieces in the collection are fabrics from the Coptic period of Egypt, including two ancient tunics, which were excavated between 1888-1920. The museum also looks at textile techniques, such as embroidery, lace, needlework and calico, and ways of shaping the body that delves into the trends of corsets, bustles and crinolines.
11. Parsons School of Design
One of the key initiatives of Parsons School of Design is sustainability in fashion, with students learning design and technical skills with an eco-friendly focus. It was one of the first fashion schools to offer a course in zero waste, and encourages students to build sustainability into each part of the design process, making environmental responsibility more of a conscious element in fashion. The school has taught industry greats such as Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Anna Sui.
Indian women wearing sarisFondazione Gianfranco Ferré