Fashion & Fun: Exhibitions You Have To See

I love a good fashion exhibition, especially if it has retro vibe to it, and I’ve been to two really good ones recently – and they’re both free!

Firstly, Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair at the National Portrait Gallery. This small display of photographs taken of Marilyn on British soil or by British photographers captures Monroe during the height of her fame.

Being a huge Marilyn fan, I loved the collection of magazine covers, film posters, postcards and photoshoots that helped form the British public’s view of her. There are some beautiful images to take in, with lots from when Marilyn was in England filming The Prince and The Showgirl.

Here’s a few of my faves, from pin-up covers from Marilyn’s earlier days to really pretty less-posed shots taken in a friend’s garden, there are some real beauts.

What I enjoyed about the exhibition was that it’s short, sweet and only a small part of the overall gallery, so it was nice and quiet. I also went on a Thursday night during their late opening, so there was plenty of time to take in the pictures without busy weekend crowds. It’s on until 24th March 2013 so do check it out if you love Marilyn as much as me.

I’ve also been to see The Little Black Jacket at the Saatchi Gallery. An exhibition based on Karl Lagerfeld’s latest photography project which has been fashioned into a rather fabulous book curated by Carine Roitfeld, The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited.

It’s a very glamorous display of the famous friends of the house of Chanel, including actresses, models, singers and editors all wearing the famous little black jacket with their own unique interpretation.

I really liked the raunchy Kirsten Dunst print (love that leopard bustier) and this rather tongue-in-cheek one of model Freja Beha Erichsen all dressed up like a very kinky nun.

I also loved the simplicity of Claudia Schiffer’s print with an ultra-subtle touch of the French maid about it.

You can easily breeze through this exhibition in about half an hour or so. It has three (rather dark) rooms and very little to read, so it really is just taking in all the prints and choosing your favourite (a tough task). It was meant to finish on the 28th, but has been extended an extra week (until the 4th November), so hurry before it’s gone for good.

And, here are the next two on my hit list:

Tim Walker: Story Teller at Somerset House until 27th January 2013.

Hollywood Costume at the V&A until 27th January 2013.

Want more? Read my full review of the Marilyn exhibition and of the Little Black Jacket for the Reiss blog.

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