As fashion exhibitions attract record numbers to art institutions across the globe, the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia is due to open an entire museum dedicated to the discipline. The 10,000 sq ft facility, scheduled to launch at its Atlanta campus on 1 October, is the first fashion museum in the southern US.
The institution, called SCADfash, will showcase ensembles from the university’s collection of more than 1,000 garments, including designs by Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy. The museum is also expected to house a fashion conservation lab, media library and temporary exhibition space. (A spokeswoman declined to disclose a budget for the project.) Following an inaugural exhibition dedicated to the designer Oscar de la Renta, curators are planning a show about the cross-pollination between art and design.
“SCADfash celebrates fashion as a universal language and garments as vehicles of identity,” Paula Wallace, the president of SCAD, says in a statement. “This museum focuses on the past, present and future of fashion design, connecting conceptual to historical principles of dress, whether ceremonial, celebratory, or casual.” This is the college’s second museum; the SCAD Museum of Art opened on its Savannah campus in 2011.
Always a crowd favourite, fashion exhibitions have helped museums smash attendance records with breakneck speed in recent years. The exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass (until 7 September) at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is on track to surpass the blockbuster exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which drew more than 661,509 people to the Met in 2012. Meanwhile, a record 493,043 people visited the McQueen exhibition that closed on 2 August at the Victoria and Albert Museum—more visitors than any other paying exhibition in the institution’s history.