From historical costume exhibitions to blockbuster exhibtions
The new millennium has produced an unprecedented type of blockbuster exhibition which is characterized by visual spectacle, inspired storytelling, and usually very high production costs. However, these exhibitions are often the subject of harsh criticism, for some theorists feel that they represent a sell‒out of the museum and the end of academic research through and about fashion. The historical and social context of fashion exhibitions is explored through a historical outline. How has clothing as a collector’s item found its way into museums, and how it is exhibited and researched there?
Within this thesis the visual language and ‘curatorial grammar’ of certain key exhibition creators is described, and examples of exhibitions which have shaped the medium of the fashion exhibition through their innovative use of display are presented.