Groups visiting the V&A in 2023 have plenty to look out for including the first UK exhibition dedicated to the work of French couturière, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. 

V&A's Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto exhibition

Source: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The display is the first UK exhibition dedicated to the work of French couturière, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel.

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto will chart the evolution of her iconic design style and the establishment of the House of CHANEL, from the opening of her first millinery boutique in Paris in 1910 to the showing of her final collection in 1971.

Featuring over 180 looks, seen together for the first time, as well as jewellery, accessories, cosmetics and perfumes, the exhibition will explore Chanel’s pioneering approach to fashion design, which paved the way for a new feminine elegance and continues to influence the way women dress today. 

The display will open in September 2023 and run until February 2024. 

Other highlights of the V&A’s 2023 programme

Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance, 11th February – 11th June 2023

Another exhibition first, this display will explore the exceptional talents of the Renaissance master, arguably the greatest sculptor of all time. 

Visitors will be offered a new vision of the artist and his impact on artistic development at this crucial time in the history of art. Featuring many works that have never been on display in the UK, it will explore Donatello’s diverse creativity within the vibrant artistic and cultural context of 15th century Italy, and his influence on subsequent generations of artists.

DIVA, 24th June 2023 – 7th April 2024

From the Opera goddesses of the Victorian era to today’s global megastars, DIVA will celebrate the power and creativity of iconic performers, exploring and redefining what it means to be a diva and how this has been subverted or embraced over time across opera, stage, popular music, and film.

V&A's Diva exhibition

Source: © David Corio

The exhibition will celebrate the power and creativity of iconic performers such as Whitney Houston, seen here performing at Wembley Arena in May 1988.

Featuring fashion, photography, design, costumes, music and live performance drawn from the V&A collection and loans from across the world, the exhibition looks at how the performer has intersected with society and driven change through their voice and art. It will consider how the diva has been reclaimed and redefined and will examine the external and internal forces that contribute to shaping and worshipping the diva. 

Re:Imagining Musicals, 15th October 2022  27th November, 2023

This free display celebrates the glittering world of musical theatre and explores the cultural significance of some of the industry’s most iconic stories. It will discover the craftsmanship behind some of the best-loved musicals from Miss Saigon and My Fair Lady to modern classics SIX the Musical and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

V&A's Re:Imagining Musicals display

Source: Joan Marcus

The Re:Imagining Musicals display will showcase previously unseen items from the museum’s Theatre and Performance collections. Pictured is the original Broadway cast of Six the Musical.

The exhibition will look at how musicals have been adapted, revived, and retold for new audiences and re-imagined against cultural and historical contexts.  

Photography Centre, phase two, spring 2023

Part of the V&A’s future plan, phase two of the V&A’s Photography Centre will create the largest permanent gallery dedicated to photography in the UK. Four new gallery spaces will be created, enabling visitors to see and experience more of the V&A’s world leading collection, and understand photography’s diverse histories and extensive impact on our lives. 

Elsewhere, the Young V&A is due to open its doors in the summer of 2023 following the most radical development in its 150-year history. Formerly the Museum of Childhood, the new museum in Bethnal Green will be aimed at children and young teenagers. 

V&A Dundee celebrates its fifth birthday in 2023 with Tartan, running from 1st April to 14th January, 2024. The exhibition will celebrate the global story of a unique pattern which expresses tradition, revolt and diversity.

Groups can enquire about the V&A’s range of free or paid-for bespoke tours including private exhibition-related tours and talks. For more information visit or call 020 7942 2000.