By now I’m sure you are aware of my love for costume exhibitions and seek them out whenever and wherever I can find them, here and abroad.  For today’s Collections posting I wanted to mention, only briefly, three that are must sees this year…two in the States and one in the UK.


Let’s begin with the UK and one of my most favorite places on earth…Chatsworth House!  I had the amazing good fortune to spend an entire day going through the House and grounds many years ago when I was visiting friends in Derbyshire, it was an experience that has stayed with me to this day.  It is truly one of the most beautiful homes I have ever visited.  But again that can be another post.  In today’s essay, I wanted to concentrate on the just-opened exhibition sponsored by Gucci, House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion which has been curated by the incomparable, Hamish Bowles (no one has his taste level…it is extraordinary as is he!) The exhibition will run through October 22, book passage on the QE2 and spend at least a day in this one of a kind, once in a lifetime exhibition.


The garments are placed through the rooms and begin with pieces from Bess of Harwick in the 16th century to supermodel Stella Tennant, the granddaughter of the 11th duchess, Debo, the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire and one of the Mitford sisters, who is credited, along with her husband, of bringing Chatsworth back to life and to the public eye. And, of course, Georgiana Cavendish, wife of the 5th duke, in the 18th century.



imageimageAbove photos from Pinterest, credits unknown.

The Metropolitan Museum of New York prides itself on blockbuster costume exhibitions and this years will not be an exception.  Opening with The Party of the Year on the first Monday in May (if you haven’t seen this documentary do yourself a favor and do so immediately, it is brilliant!!!


For only the second time, the Met is featuring a living designer (the first was Yves Saint Laurent when Diana Vreeland led the exhibition team) and that designer is Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garçons, the exhibition is entitled Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, it opens on May 4th and runs through September 4th (want to bet it will be extended).  Perhaps you can see this exhibition the day before your sailing for the UKjust saying!!!

What a wonderful photo of Rei Kawakubo (photo credit unknown).

imageImage from the cover of the exhibition catalog to be pre-ordered through the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Of course, I have to include our wonderful Chicago History Museum Costume Collection, which houses one of the largest collection in the world.  I have profiled the Mainbocher exhibition many times and wanted to mention it will be up until August.

imageFrom the Making Mainbocher exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, photo by Nena Ivon.



  1. lawrieweed March 30, 2017 / 5:54 pm

    Those must be some attics!

    • nenasnotes March 30, 2017 / 6:10 pm

      Yes, that is what I opened with…the cover of the book!! Many of the pieces are from current owners as well as the Chatsworth archives. Something very special.

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