April 11, 2021

Alexandra Newson previews some of 2015’s upcoming art exhibitions

From Bourdin to McQueen, check out these five exhibitions coming to London later this year.

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, National Portrait Gallery, from 2nd July to 18th October
Everyone’s favourite fashion icon will be firmly in the frame this summer. From Hepburn’s early years as a chorus girl in London’s West End through to her charity work in later life, Portraits of an Icon will celebrate one of the world’s most photographed stars. With over 60 images on show – including rarely seen prints by some of the 20th century’s leading photographers, such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn – this is sure to be a treat.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, V&A, from 14th March to 2nd August
Spanning McQueen’s 1992 MA graduate collection to his unfinished A/W 2010 collection, this blockbuster exhibition will undoubtedly be THE ONE to be seen at this year. In the first European retrospective of fashion’s ultimate rebel, McQueen’s visionary body of work will undoubtedly be showcased with all the drama of his spectacular runway shows. The V&A has just released an additional 50,000 tickets (30,000 tickets have already been sold, breaking their record for the most advance sales for an exhibition). Get yours while you still can.

Quentin Blake at the Summer Exhibition 2015, Royal Academy of Arts, from 8th June to 16th August
If you missed Inside Stories, the House of Illustration’s inaugural exhibition by the UK’s favourite illustrator, fear not. Just head down to the RA’s summer extravaganza where three of Quentin Blake’s new and original artworks will be hanging in the Small Weston Room. These form an extension to the series ‘Old and Young’ which were displayed at Marlborough Fine Arts in December 2012. And if you’re feeling flush, you can even bagsy yourself an original as all three will be on sale.

Women in Power, Design Museum, until 26th April
Ever wondered how Kirsty Wark’s wardrobe has influenced her career? Or what inspires Lady Gaga’s most eccentric outfits? We may have moved on since the days when women had to wear shoulder pads in the boardroom to mean business but this fascinating exhibition offers an unprecedented glimpse into how women – from princesses and CEOs to designers and dames – have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world.

And hurry, this one’s about to finish…

Guy Bourdin: Image-Maker, Somerset House, from 27th November to 15th March
He’s the legendary ‘70s photographer that turned fashion adverts on their head and put the image, not the product, centre-stage. Head to Somerset House to see the UK’s largest ever exhibition of Bourdin’s work, featuring over 100 eye-poppingly surreal works and previously unseen material. From the severed mannequin legs in stilettos strutting down boardwalks, to the blood-red manicured nails layered one on top of the other, this is one fashion exhibition you won’t forget in a hurry.

By Alexandra Newson

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