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Stylish Summer

Culture Watch
Images from 'Saint Laurent Rive Gauche' at the Fondation Pierre Bergé

Since the runways have some time off in the summer months (Fall Couture and the occasional full-scale Resort show aside), it’s the perfect opportunity to sate your fashion appetite at one of the major museums currently featuring fashion exhibitions. In fashion capitals throughout the world, including New York, Paris and London, ensembles are put on par with art—finally!

In addition to the major Alexander McQueen retrospective that opened last week at New York’s Metropolitan Museum (seen here) and the stunning “Balenciaga and Spain” at San Francisco’s De Young Museum (seen here), here’s a roundup of shows that are equally as impressive.

“Saint Laurent Rive Gauche” at the Fondation Pierre Bergé
The first fashion designer to show a prêt-a-porter (ready-to-wear) line in his own name in the 1960s, Yves Saint Laurent is celebrated with the exhibition, “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche,” at the Fondation Pierre Bergé. Through July 17, visitors to the show will find themselves surrounded by more than 70 looks in a space modeled after his first Rive Gauche store that opened in 1966 on rue de Tournon in Paris.


“Yohji Yamamoto” at the Victoria and Albert Museum
While the V&A’s fashion and textiles wing is being remodeled, the London museum pays tribute to one of the industry’s most prolific designers, Yohji Yamamoto, in this epic retrospective. Curated by Ligaya Salazar, the show, which is on view through July 10, features 80 womenswear and menswear looks and includes a multimedia timeline of his work.

“Madame Grès” at the Musée Bourdelle
Alix Barton, who was better known as Madame Grès, was a couturier for the likes of the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Jacqueline Kennedy under her couture house, Grès. The 80 key pieces, some dating back as far as 1934, in this exhibition are displayed among the museum’s sculptures because as its curator Olivier Saillard notes, “Madame Grès said throughout her life that she wanted to be a sculptor.” On view through July 24, the garments are accompanied by 100 sketches and 50 original photographs in this exquisite exhibit.

“The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Next month marks the opening of “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier.” It’s hard to believe that the show marks the first retrospective of fashion’s enfant terrible, but it will no doubt do the brilliant designer justice with a multimedia exhibition. From his first ready-to-wear collection in 1976 to the founding of his couture house in 1997, the show will include a selection 120 pieces that run up to the latest 2011 season featuring both womenswear and menswear.

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