Harry Styles, V&A, Fashioning Masculinities

What’s On at The V&A?

Culture /

The leading arts and design museum has a lot of tricks up its sleeve

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more


While the first half of 2021 got off to a rocky start, the V&A promises a whole host of exciting events to keep you busy for the rest of the year. Here’s what to book and look forward to over the coming months.

The Must-See Fashion Exhibitions of 2020/21

What’s On At The V&A?

Following months of temporary closure, the V&A is back with an exciting array of exhibitions and upcoming retrospectives, including an exploration of all things Alice in Wonderland, the culmination of this year’s Jameel Prize and the evolution of fashion’s most beloved accessory, the bag. Clear your calendars, because you won’t want to miss these must-see showcases.

Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear

Sam Smith photographed by Alasdair McLellan, Hertfordshire, June 16, 2020.

Outfits worn by stars like Harry Styles, David Bowie and Billy Porter are going on display as part of the V&A’s upcoming exhibition, which explores the evolution of menswear. Opening in March next year, the show will take a close look at how designers, tailors and artists – plus their clients and sitters – have constructed masculinity. Visitors will be able to explore around 100 looks and 100 artworks across three curated galleries, including outfits by Donatella Versace and Alexander McQueen, photographs by David Hockney and Renaissance paintings. Opening 19 March 2022

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser

Alice at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Illustration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by John Tenniel, 1865 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Set to be the V&A’s most highly anticipated and must-see exhibition of 2021, enter into the fantastical world of Alice in Wonderland and explore the iconic story’s influential 158-year-old history; its origins, evolution and impact on film, fashion, photography and more. Open now until 31 December 2021.

Bags: Inside Out

Bags: Inside Out

Model with Lait de Coco Evening Bag, Karl Lagerfeld, 2014 © Jason Lloyd Evans

Practical, sometimes necessary and often wholly understated: Bags: Inside Out at the V&A celebrates the history, status and power of the humble handbag. From luxury designs – think Mulberry and Karl Lagerfeld – to Winston Churchill’s despatch box, plus those worn by Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City, delve into the depths of fashion’s most functional accessory. Open now until 16 January 2022.

Our Guide to Bags: Inside Out

Jameel Prize: Poetry To Politics

Ajlan Gharem, Paradise Has Many Gates–Daytime, 2015.

Ajlan Gharem, Paradise Has Many Gates–Daytime, 2015 © Ajlan Gharem

Celebrating contemporary design inspired by Islamic tradition, this year’s instalment of the Jameel Prize is one you won’t want to miss. The eight finalists – Golnar Adili, Hadeyeh Badri, Kallol Datta, Farah Fayyad, Ajlan Gharem, Sofia Karim, Jana Traboulsi, and Bushra Waqas Khan – will come together to address global events, lived realities, and the legacies of language, architecture, and craft. Catch the exhibition on its opening day, 18 September, when the winner will be announced. 18 September – 28 November 2021. 

Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution

Caesar, by Fabergé. Chalcedony, gold, enamel, rubies c. 1908 Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021

Caesar, Fabergé. Chalcedony, gold, enamel, rubies c. 1908.Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021

The first major exhibition dedicated to the international prominence of master goldsmith, Carl Fabergé, Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution dives in to the history of the beloved jewellery firm. While honouring the firm’s beginnings in Russia, the exhibition also promises to explore the Anglo-Russian nature of Fabergé’s enterprise, with emphasis on the opening of its London branch in 1903. 20 November 2021 – 8 May 2022. 

Visit vam.ac.uk for more information

Featured image: Gucci Pre-Fall 2019 Men’s Tailoring Campaign; Creative Director: Alessandro Michele; Art Director: Christopher Simmonds; Photographer & Director: Harmony Korine; Courtesy of Gucci

The Best Art Exhibitions in the UK / What to Buy: The Best Art Books Ever / The Best Art Exhibitions in London