Can’t get enough of Oscar’s red carpet? Try these museum shows

Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dresses from the 1965 autumn-winter collection were inspired by the modern Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and brought together fashion and art. They are part of a display at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.
(Thierry Ollivier / Yves Saint Laurent)

The designer gowns at Sunday’s Academy Awards have one night of fame. Fans who want to keep the high fashion conversation going will find inspiration at these five museums.

New York City

In 2018 the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute looked to medieval Catholic traditions to inspire its annual spring exhibition. Now, it’s embracing how campiness affects fashion.

“Camp: Notes on Fashion” takes part of its cue from what the late Susan Sontag defined as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” starting with dandies in 17th century French royal courts. The 175 objects will include designs by Rudi Gernreich, Gucci, Karl Lagerfeld and others.

It opens May 9, preceded by the Met Gala, a red carpet extravaganza where you can expect to see tennis star Serena Williams and singer Lady Gaga in over-the-top threads.


Info: Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, “Camp: Notes on Fashion”

Los Angeles

Shirley Temple's costume from "The Little Colonel" (1935) is part of the Academy Museum's collection.
(Joshua White / JWPictures / Academy Museum Foundation)

Costumes will play a starring role in the flashy new Renzo Piano-designed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures taking shape at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

It’s the same academy that hosted the first Oscars in 1929 and will host Sunday’s televised broadcast.


The museum’s collection includes Greta Garbo’s blingy headdress designed by Adrian, from the 1931 movie “Mata Hari,” and the striped suit Jack Nicholson wore in 1974’s “Chinatown.”

A dress of child sensation Shirley Temple and a pair of ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) also are among the 2,500 items that promise to take visitors inside the movies when the museum opens later this year.

Info: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures


Mary Quant designs are displayed in "Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution" exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.
(Max Cisotta / Fashion and Textile Museum)

In the 1960s, Mary Quant gave London girls a mod makeover, with plastic knee-high boots, miniskirts and ribbed tights. Terence Conran designed a shop for her. Together the pair shaped the look of a new youth culture that later would add social and political change to the mix.

Designer Mary Quant, circa 1961.
(Vic Singh)

“Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution” at the Fashion and Textile Museum tells the story of how fashion, furniture, ceramics and design elements changed a generation. The show runs until June 2.

Info: Fashion and Textile Museum, “Swinging London



Make tracks to the Armani/Silos museum, which the designer opened to showcase his four decades of creative endeavors. Pieces from various collections, including Androgynous, Ethnicities and the cinema-meets-fashion Stars, are on permanent display.

Pieces from the Ethnicities collection at Armani/Solis.

Go before March 24 to see “Fabula,” French photographer Charles Fréger’s arresting photos of costumes from around the world.

Info: Armani/Silos


Yves Saint Laurent debuted a knit bridal gown in 1965, which is on display at the Paris museum.
(Thierry Ollivier / Yves Saint Laurent)

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent is housed in the space where the French designer worked from 1974 to 2002.

Through the end of the year, 50 haute couture YSL designs are on temporary display, featuring famed Mondrian dresses (autumn-winter 1965) inspired by the modern Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, which brought together fashion and art.

The show also includes other couture gowns, some made in collaboration with sculptor Claude Lalanne.


There’s a spinoff YSL museum in Marrakech, Morocco, too.

Info: Musée Yves Saint Laurent