Every September, fashion capitals all over the world light up with designers’ latest collections for spring—but the catwalk isn’t the only source for sartorial entertainment. This month, three cities play host to exhibitions that investigate our relationship to style and fashion’s role in history.
“Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen”: Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Mae West—these names are synonymous with the golden age of Hollywood, when satin-clad actresses of the 1930s and ’40s wore exquisite gowns accessorized with equally dramatic jewels. On display at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is an indulgent array of creations by the likes of Adrian, Travis Banton and Chanel, just to name a few. Taken from film sets, or from the personal collections of their leading ladies, the curated collection demonstrates how the era’s signature glamour was determined as much by what the stars wore offscreen as what they wore on camera. Through March 8, 2015; 465 Huntington Ave.; 617-267-9300; mfa.org.
“Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe”: With a history that stretches back nearly four centuries, the high-heel has undergone transformations of form and cultural relevance. From iconic styles by fashion favorites like Manolo Blahnik to architectural creations by Zaha Hadid, the display at The Brooklyn Museum—which includes six specially commissioned short films—proves one thing: A shoe is never merely an accessory. Through February 15, 2015; 200 Eastern Pkwy.; 718-638-5000; brooklynmuseum.org.
Fashion Film Festival Milano: Debuting September 14 during Milan Fashion Week at the Piccolo Teatro Grassi Milano, the inaugural festival draws on the growing popularity of fashion films, from Prêt-à-Porter to The Devil Wears Prada. In addition to showcasing films created in collaboration with the world’s top brands—including Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Cartier—the Festival hosts a competition for new talent, providing a forum for young directors and producers to share their work with designers, brands, artists and the fashion-hungry public. September 14–15; Via Rovello, 2; 39-848-800-304; fffmilano.com.