Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Roger Vivier at the Bata Shoe Museum and other Must-see Exhibitions for 2012

Roger Vivier at the Bata Shoe Museum, photo by Ron Wood, copyright of the Bata Shoe Museum
The explosion of fashion exhibitions in museums has made it virtually impossible to see everything that there is to see. Discerning the extraordinary from the run-of-the-mill show takes work and this is my list of top choices for 2012.

1. Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection at the Bata Shoe Museum beginning May 10, 2012
The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto never disappoints. This jewel of a museum is headed by curator Elizabeth Semmelhack and she knows how to put on a good show.  In Process to Perfection, the exquisite work of Roger Vivier, known for bejewelled and elegantly sculptural shoes and one of the 20th century's most important master shoemakers,  will be displayed for the first time in North America. Loans from museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will make this show into a shoe-aholic's dream display.

2. Schiaperelli and Prada: On Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning May 10, 2012
This exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Met in New York will explore the affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miucca Prada who come from two different eras. Curated by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton, the title of the exhibition is based on Umberto Eco's books on the philosophy of aesthetics - On Beauty and On Ugliness  and organized according to the book's outline by topics such as "On Art," "On Politics," "On Women," "On Creativity". The exhibition will run until August 19, 2012.

3. Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs at Musee des Arts Decoratifs beginning March 9, 2012
This exhibition tells the stories of two men of fashion, separated by a century, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, and will highlight their contributions to the fashion world. Designed to be an analysis rather than a retrospective, this parallel Vuitton-Jacobs comparison is intended to provide new insight into the fashion system during its pivotal periods, beginning with its industrialisation and ending with its globalisation, focussing also on its artistic professions and crafts, technological advances, stylistic creations and artistic collaborations.

I chose these exhibitions because they are about fashion game-changers. Each one - Vivier, Schiaparelli, Prada, Vuitton and Jacobs - brought a unique vision to the world of fashion. Plus, the curators behind these exhibitions are the best of the best....

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