One of the first exhibitions I visited, as a young fashion student, was Fashion: an Anthology by Cecil Beaton, V&A, 1971-72. This was the first serious exhibition to be mounted in London on the subject of fashion and it made a lasting impression on me. Today the stakes are much higher and we have grown used to the idea of both the blockbuster exhibition and the study of dress as a legitimate academic pursuit. The more exhibitions I visit, the more susceptible I become to the influence of the environment in which they are presented.

Recently I saw four exhibitions in Paris:




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