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Book review: Exhibiting Fashion: Before and After 1971 by Judith Clark and Amy de la Hay


With the dramatic increase in the popularity of fashion exhibitions over the past decade, this groundbreaking book provides a timely look at the evolution of the practice, taking as its anchor the seminal 1971 Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition “Fashion: An Anthology by Cecil Beaton”. The authors’ combined experience of more than 40 years – one in architecture and exhibition design and the other in fashion history and curating – informs this detailed account of the exhibition.

Accompanied by photographs of Beaton’s museum work published here for the first time, the narrative establishes a perspective from which to view working practices today. Research into international exhibitions from the early 20th century to the present day results in some 150 stunning illustrations, including previously unpublished exhibition photographs, as well as a number of out-of-print documents. A comprehensive chronology from 1971 illustrates the exponential rise in exhibitions of Western dress on an international scale.

Judith Clark is a professor of fashion and museology, and Amy de la Haye is a professor of dress history and curatorship, Rootstein Hopkins Chair, both at the London College of Fashion.