From Yves Saint Laurent's Moroccan, cobalt-splashed reprieve to mammoth exhibitions chronicling the history of clothes, these five locations deserve a spot on every fashionphile's jet-set agenda
1. MAJORELLE GARDEN, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
Previously under the care of the late Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, the pair's love affair with the Moroccan city has famously reared its head in Saint Laurent's work. A testament to the designer's unbreakable bond with Marrakech is the Jardin Majorelle — a desert scape garden peppered with 'oases' and backdropped by cobalt-washed walls, bought over by the duo in 1980 and handed over to the Foundation Pierre Bergé — Yves Saint Laurent after the designer's death.
What to see: While the Majorelle Garden's Insta-potential rises through the roof, the punchy shades swathing its walkways, windows and even plant pots are worth lowering the phone for. Its cobalt exteriors for starters, is a unique hue formulated by the garden's original owner and artist, Jacques Majorelle, and is a shade that the locals perceive as a symbol of wealth. What to do: Wander into the Berber museum and dive into the coloured history of the North African tribe, of which many have set root within the Atlas Mountains bordering the country. But also, get a glimpse of Saint Laurent's home architecture that now stands as a memorial; paying homage to the late design wunderkind who found beauty in the city's chaos. What to expect in 2017: A new addition to the attraction, trace Saint Laurent's creative journey at the new Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech — soon to be home to a host of archival clothing, accessories and sketches released by the foundation.
The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech is slated to open in autumn, 2017. The Berber museum is open all year round. 2. PALAIS GALLIERA, PARIS, FRANCE
Away from the tourist-riddled hub that's at the heart of Paris, venture into the city's fringes in the 16th arrondissement and pay a visit to the Palais Galliera. An education on garments of all occassions — from underwear to haute couture — what used to store the Duchess of Galliera's objet d'art collection in the 19th century transformed into the city's fashion museum in 1997.
What to see: Bordering the neo-renaissance building is the reknowned Parisienne-style circular walkway, peppered by sweet-scented blooms and benches that beckon a scenic post-lunch stroll. Although the Jardin des Tuileries trumps the grounds of the Palais Galliera in size, the lack of a human jam and the tranquility of an undisturbed après midi is priceless. What to do: Venture into the fashion vortex and discover its hallowed halls chronicling the evolution of garments since its inauguration. Think: A peek into the rich past and dress codes of blue bloods, up till the casualisation of clothing beginning with ready-to-wear in the '50s. What to expect in 2017: 'Anatomy of a Collection — Part II', a curation of clothing from the past three centuries.
'Anatomy of a Collection — Part II' is ongoing till 12 February, 2017. 3. MODEMUSEUM PROVINCIE ANTWERPEN (MOMU), ANTWERP, BELGIUM
Oh, Antwerp. Intricately linked to the Antwerp Six for the forseeable future, the city that marked its spot on the fashion map the moment the world sat up and paid attention to Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester (amongst others), would of course be home to an oracle of the creative set. Discover all that's Antwerpen at MoMu, a dedicated space that presents the musings and works of its homegrown visionaries all under one roof.
What to see: With a modest façade compared to the rest, it's interior is what really counts here. A geometric and wooden panelled atrium zig-zag under its expansive lattice skylight, casting shadows that lead the way into the depths of Antwerp's fashion beginnings in the '80s and '90s. What to do: Extend your fashion vocabulary beyond France and Italy by experiencing the less-documented creatives thriving in Belgium. In certain instances, even the tapestry of the installations have been created by the designers themselves — a larger than life representation of the stories they have to tell. What to expect in 2017: Tapping into the legacy of the mysterious and revered designer Martin Margiela, the exhibition 'Margiela — The Hermès Years' magnifies the Belgian's revolutionary perspective at the leather house; where unlikely bedfellows — that's the maison's everlasting notes of elegance and Margiela's deconstruction — blossomed into an unforgettable tenure.
'Margiela — The Hermès Years' takes place between 31 March to 27 August, 2017. 4. VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM (V&A), LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Despite not solely exhibiting just fashion collections, the V&A is undeniably one of the educational pillars in the world of fashion. As the first museum to induct photographs as art back in the 19th century, its revolutionary outlook manifests today by playing host to the largest fashion exhibitions across the world. Including, 'Alexander Mcqueen:Savage Beauty', a study of McQueen's fantastical designs tinted with goth, cultural and royal influences.
What to see: Zeroing in on the history of garments, its collections date back up to five centuries before — tracing the impact our predecessors had on the way the modern tribe dresses, accessories such as hats and footwear included. What to do: Fully indulge your curiosities by signing up for the textile and jewellery courses at V&A, a detailed run down of where our sartorial inclinations have come from — and an inkling of where they're headed. What to expect in 2017: Already open to the public, the museum's current fashion exhibition — 'Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear' — addresses what's worn beneath; examining how undergarments have influenced the outer layers.
'Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear' is ongoing, till 12 March, 2017. 5. CHRISTIAN DIOR GARDEN AND MUSEUM, GRANVILLE, FRANCE
Any Dior fanatic knows how important flowers are to the house of Dior. Growing up in a seaside villa, Monsieur Dior's botanical insights laid the foundation to the brand's iconic motifs — such as the delphiniums, and his lucky flower the lily-of-the-valley. Trickling down into the works of his successors — like Raf Simons' floral show sets — the Dior Garden of Eden remains the glue of the company's contemporary work, including its scents, jewellery and even the brand imagery.
What to see: Treading the soil where the seed of feminity bloomed in the hands of Christian Dior is an experience in itself. A wonderous sight inflected with fresh scents — ones that've inspired the brand's perfumes — it is a tranquil reprieve that's healing to the mind, body and soul. What to do: Bearing resemblence to Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, the cupid pink Granville Villa (also known as Les Rhumbs) holds the key to the breath-taking work proffered by the designer over his career. Pooling together a range of mediums including photographs, actual garments, and archived editorial pieces from Vogue, here, enter the true universe of Dior. What to expect in 2017: Every winter season, an exhibition zooming in on a specific tenet of Monsieur Dior's opus takes place. The current run — 'Une Maison, des Collections' — is a bird's eye view of the designer's haute couture and ready-to-wear creations, with an inside look at the tight-knit circle of friends that Dior himself kept.
'Une Maison, des Collections' is ongoing, till 5 March, 2017.