London’s Must-See Fashion Exhibitions of 2023

Culture /

The most fascinating fashion displays which you won't want to miss

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There’s a plethora of art exhibitions in London – and across the UK – at all times. But if you’re more interested in the art of dressing, you’ve come to the right place. These are the best fashion exhibitions to visit this year.

The Must-See Fashion Exhibitions of 2023

  • Open now–16 April 2023: Africa Fashion, V&A
  • Open now–25 June 2023: Hallyu! The Korean Wave, V&A
  • 21 April–8 October 2023: Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
  • 16 September 2023–25 February 2024: Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto, V&A
  • 21 September 2023–17 January 2024: The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: The Missing Thread, Somerset House
Design by Chris Seydou (c) Nabil Zorkot (fashion exhibitions 2022)

Design by Chris Seydou (Nabil Zorkot)

Africa Fashion

When? Open now until 16 April 2023

Where? The V&A

Celebrating the ‘irresistible creativity, ingenuity and unstoppable global impact of contemporary African fashion creatives’, Africa Fashion presents over 250 objects, photographs and textiles recognising the work of designers from the mid-twentieth century to the present. With an emphasis on diversity and innovation, the V&A will explore the rich visual culture that has inspired African designers for decades. Following a major public call-out, the exhibition will also see new acquisitions highlighting African diasporic fashion trends and personal testimonies go on show for the first time.

BOOK IT: £16 per person.

Tchai KimYoungjin Hanbok Collection, 2015. Image courtesy of ygkplus, BAE YOON YOUNG (Exhibitions of 2022)

Tchai KimYoungjin Hanbok Collection, 2015. (Image courtesy of ygkplus, BAE YOON YOUNG)

Hallyu! The Korean Wave

When? Open now until 25 June 2023

Where? The V&A

The rising popularity of South Korean culture in mainstream media – otherwise known as ‘Hallyu’, or the Korean Wave – has its very own exhibition at the V&A right now. Supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea, Hallyu! tracks the global phenomenon from its early beginnings in the late 1990s and rise to worldwide acclaim in the 2010s with K-Pop acts like Psy, BTS and Blackpink to recent successes within cinema, drama, beauty and fashion.

BOOK IT: £20 per person.

A Georgian dress on a manequin

(Courtesy of the Fashion Museum Bath)

Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians

When? 21 April–8 October 2023

Where? The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Bringing together over 200 words from the Royal Collections – including paintings, prints and drawings by artists such as Gainsborough, Zoffany and Hogarth, alongside rare surviving clothing and accessories – Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians will illustrate a picture of what the Georgians wore, from laundry maids to court darlings.

BOOK IT: Tickets from £9 per person.

Evening dressSpring-summer 1930Silk satin with insertsParis,Patrimoinede Chanel© Julien T. Hamon

Evening dress. Spring-summer 1930. Silk satin with inserts. Paris, Patrimoinede Chanel (© Julien T. Hamon)

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto

When? 16 September 2023–25 February 2024

Where? The V&A

The V&A is teaming up with Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, to bring one of the most fêted fashion designers in history to the UK. This will be the first exhibition in the UK dedicated to Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, and will trace the designer’s pioneering career from the opening of her first millinery boutique in Paris in 1910 to the showing of her final collection in 1971. The exhibition will feature over 180 looks, as well as perfumery, accessories and jewellery from the world-renowned fashion house.

BOOK IT: Tickets available soon.

An image from The Missing Thread exhibition

The Missing Thread. © Eileen Perrier 1 ‘Afro Hair and Beauty’, 1998.

The Missing Thread Sponsored By Morgan Stanley

When? 21 September 2023–17 January 2024

Where? Somerset House

This major new exhibition will explore the story of Black British fashion, chronicling the shifting landscape across 50 years and the contribution Black British culture has made to Britain’s design history. Celebrating the unique impact of a largely unseen generation of Black creatives, The Missing Thread will examine how culture, politics and socio-economics shaped Black style – and, in turn, mainstream fashion.

BOOK IT: Details TBA.

Featured image: Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians (courtesy of Royal Collection Trust).