Virtual Visits

By Dale Peers
While the COVID pandemic has restricted movement and closed many doors it has also spurred the opening of many others. Museum exhibitions that might have been difficult if not impossible to attend are now available through virtual visits.
Here are just a few that you might enjoy.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams
The incredible history of the house of Dior was showcased in this exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from July 5, 2017 to January 7, 2018 and at London’s V&A in 2019. The exhibition highlighted the house rather than simply the designer by including Christian Dior’s work as well as that of Yves St. Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri – the many designers who continued his legacy. This virtual opportunity shows not only elements of the exhibition but behind-the-scenes as the exhibition is mounted.

About Time: Fashion and Duration
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most recent exhibition explores the cyclical nature of fashion. A virtual visit of the exhibit is shown in black and white which I found a bit unsatisfying since the colour and textures of the garments is absent. However, the stark details of the silhouettes and the similarities of the designs becomes particularly evident in the very absence of colour.

Collecting Comme
While a “trip down under” may not be in the cards a virtual visit to the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia is possible. This exhibit features 65 outfits from 40 collections by contemporary fashion designer Rei Kawakubo as well as those of her proteges Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihaha.
This is a true 3D experience as the virtual exhibit allows you to travel down corridors of your choice as well as turn, view and linger of the incredible shapes, textures and colours.

Google Arts and Culture collaborates with many of these institutions around the world making visits as easy as a quick google search. Here are just a few examples that feature the work of fashion design icons.

Balenciaga: Master Craftsman
See not only the work of the master but better understand why his work considers not only design but structural integrity. His contemporaries – Chanel, Dior – saw him as the designer’s designer. He not only sketched his pieces but could sew them too. His work created never before seen shapes and sculptural forms.
His unique work redefined fashions of the 50s and 60s and his inspiration ranged from his Basque childhood and his Catholic upbringing to the culture of Flamenco, from the bull fighting arena to the world of modern art.

Schiaparelli and Surrealism
Schiaparelli and Surrealism are almost synonymous. The fashion collaborations between Schiaparelli and her friends, Salvator Dali, Jean Cocteau are examined in this exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Her endless nerve, verve and appreciation for the surrealism movement mean that bugs, skeletal construction and tromp L’oeil can be seen in this exhibition.


The Craftsmanship of Alexander McQueen
Attention to the most minute of details might well be an apt descriptor not only of McQueen but of this fashion house. McQueen’s legacy has been expertly led since his death by designer Sarah Burton. This Arts and Culture Google exhibit shows how seamlessly Burton has carried the design house forward.


At the risk of having you jump down the rabbit hole with me viewing all this lovely fashion and doing this instead of the many things on your (/my) lengthy to-do list I will save a few more wonderful sites for us to visit for my next blog.

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