18
Dec
2014
Posted by Nicole in 2000s

As my new book was coming out, I thought it was time I should practice what I preach, and so I sought the services of a personal stylist.

Sally MacKinnon from “Styled by Sally” has been helping people overhaul their wardrobes and make the most of their shopping experiences for many years. I’ve crossed paths with her often through my work, especially as we’re both members of the City Precinct, a group of independent Melbourne businesses.

I knew Sally to be down to earth and easy to talk with, as well as seeing some great results she had achieved with others. I’ve also had plenty of opportunities to see how she dresses herself and I knew she’d have some fresh ideas for updating my own style, so I booked a three hour shopping session.

I’m a tough crowd – not only do I think I know a thing or two about dressing, I’ve developed my own style over many years and have simplified it into a few narrow characteristics: I like black dresses, with a plunging V neckline and shaped waist. Mid-calf with a swishing skirt, worn with Mary Janes or lace up boots and black lace or opaque stockings. Then I might add brightly coloured accessories and of course, there’s the pink hair – sometimes a boon, sometimes a hindrance.

Well aware that I was stuck in a comfortable rut, I wanted to try on different looks, especially as I suspected that I was dressing a bit old for my age. Drab and frumpy are my least favourite characteristics but my tastes (due to a changing body shape) felt like they were heading in that direction. Time to pull up the reins!

Sally met me at the Melbourne Emporium and we started with a chat over coffee: it was a hot day and I was impressed with her choice of fashion. She was wearing a modern update on a ’70s style shirtdress – perfect for her tall and slim figure, showing off her legs without compromising on comfort. She nailed “smart casual” and immediately had me at my ease – my default setting is a little dressier than most people so her style reassured me. It was what I would have chosen for her myself, so I felt like we were on the same page.

First Sally took me to Nicola Waite – a shop I had never been to before, but had a modern range of creative styles. The sizes go up to 22, so I didn’t have to fear that awfulness of not finding anything that fits. Sally had sent me a questionnaire before the day so I knew I could rely on her not to take me to places that wouldn’t have anything, which is such a relief: this is the benefit of a stylist, she knows all the shops and saves you the time and bother of falling in love with things that won’t work for you.

I particularly liked the structuralism of the “Bodice Tuck Dress” in black:

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Because I’m shorter than the model, it hit me just below the knees – which was a revelation, usually I wear my skirts longer so discovered this length is good for me, showing off my legs more – and the waist sat closer to my natural waist which looked even better when belted (and my waist looked tiny compared to all the foofy fullness of the skirt).

That was the second revelation – that I need to highlight my waist more than I have been doing. This is the risk of mislaying your girlish figure, you don’t always adjust to the new shape as well as you could and there’s a temptation to skirt over parts of your body but by doing so you’re losing definition.

I’m not fond of showing my bare upper arms, so this dress was worn with a sheer netting style top underneath – I’ve got a few of these left over from my goth days when I wore them under corsets.

Then we went to Leona Edmiston – I had been in there before but discovered that with my new BFF to advise me on the most flattering styles for my figure and suggest colours that were way out of my comfort zone, shopping was a breeze and I added four (!) new frocks to my wardrobe. Sally also arranged a discount for me. Then it was off to et al where I was almost overwhelmed with modern choices.

Many of my new dresses have come in handy in book signings, TV and newspaper articles and it’s been a pleasure to receive compliments on them, although some fein shock to see me not wearing as much black.

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Here I am in my new favourite frock the appropriately named “Sally” from Leona Edimiston and a vintage lace petticoat to contain the decolletage – happily signing lots of my new book at the Melbourne Dymocks shop in Collins St. Thank you Sally and Sally!

Personal styling sessions make excellent Christmas presents and Sally has kindly offered Circa readers a special discount on her services – book a three hour session for the first half of next year and receive a 10% discount off her already very reasonable rate of $325. Just let her know that you read it about it here! Thanks Sally x


13
Dec
2014
Posted by Nicole in Book, Book review, Talk 1 Comment

I’m having the time of my life – this week we launched “Style is Eternal” at Avid Reader in Brisbane and last week in Sydney at Berkelouw Paddington Sydney. This is so much fun: I love books, bookshops, book readers and best of all is having your own book and talking to shiny people about it! Book people are good people.

And just when I couldn’t get more excited about bookshops (and how great it is to find good ones in other cities) there was the St Kilda library, who kindly invited me back for a third time to talk about my passion for fashion.

Plus: there have been a couple of radio interviews (3AW and Radio Adelaide) and newspapers, online magazines and blogs. And I also appeared on Channel 9’s “Mornings” show – you can see me talking about celebrity style here.

Are you ready for some highlights? Here are some pics –

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A big article in the West Australian newspaper – thanks Susi for sending me the pic.

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Some of the wonderful ladies who came to see me at Avid Reader – the whole audience was amazing, especially considering how hot and humid it was. I love this bookshop so much. Plus: Krissy Kneen live tweeted me! Achievement unlocked.

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Mz Vicki and I at Avid Reader in Brisbane – read Vicki’s great blog post about the event here. Photo copyright Vicki Martin.

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A table filled with copies of my book: Berkelouw in Paddington. So many great things about this bookshop and they have beautiful old style slanted wooden shelves upstairs.

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Here I am demonstrating ways to wear scarves on stylish fashion blogger Nora. This pic is copyright Sydney Flapper. Here’s her terrific review of the Berkelouw event and my book.

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My book featured in the Dymock’s catalogue alongside two of the most talented women in fashion!

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And on display at Dymock’s Sydney – another really great old style bookshop with a mezzanine balcony cafe. Note that my book seems to be selling better than the other great title.

Future Beauty
I caught the Future Beauty exhibition in Brisbane! Japanese Avant Garde fashion! Highly recommended and full of inspiration.

Gabbi at Dymocks Chermside
Gabbi at Dymock’s Chermside asked me what my favourite word was – I replied “momentum”. I’m feeling a lot of that at the moment.

Kinokuniya
Lots of books to sign at Kinokuniya! Amazing bookshop, a new favourite and everyone is so nice. I didn’t use the sharpie – have discovered an author truth: we carry pens we like to write and sign with. I’m glad I signed a lot of books because “Style is Eternal” is currently one of their best sellers!

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Chatting about fashion at St Kilda library – where Cati created a wonderful display of vintage frocks and books and called me “fabulous”. Cati, I think you’re fabulous too.

Now, the book is available at good bookshops everywhere and of course at Circa – but if you’d like a signed copy here’s where to go:

Dymock’s Sydney, Bondi Junction, Chermside and Brisbane
Avid Reader, West End Brisbane
Circa Vintage online and in the city salon, where I can personalise a copy for you. All web and phone orders are sent via Express Post and we post the same or next business day, but don’t leave it too late if you’d like one for Christmas!


5
Dec
2014
Posted by Nicole in Calendar 2 Comments

St Kilda library have invited me back to talk about my new book – “Style is Eternal”.

Here are the details:
Fashion fades, but style is eternal. In these days of fast and disposable fashion, how do you make the most of what you wear without spending a fortune? How do you develop your own personal style, dress for an event, suit your figure or update for your age?

Join Nicole Jenkins (award winning author of “Love Vintage”) as she talks about her new book “Style is Eternal”, including where and how to shop, how to best use what you already have and how to care for it.

What: Style is Eternal fashion talk by Nicole Jenkins
When: Wed 10 Dec 2014 6.30-7:30pm
Where: – St Kilda library, 150 Carlisle St St Kilda
Cost - free!
Bookings essential - click here to book.
More informationat the library site.

I’ll bring along some copies of my new book too, and the library has copies too, hopefully available for borrowing. They also have a copy of my first book “Love Vintage” in case anyone would like to read that one too.


27
Nov
2014
Posted by Nicole in 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, Designers, Exhibitions 1 Comment

One wonderful day I went – twice – to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the new exhibition on the work of Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Incredible. Amazing. Beautiful. There is so much that I’d like to say, but it’s best if his work speaks for itself. This is truly fashion as high art, couture quality, impeccable eye for detail. So kind and generous for Monsieur and the NGV to share it all with us.

All I can really say is “go and see it”. See it more than once, and take your time to admire all the little touches, the array of different textures, colours, shapes, the unlimited creativity. The strong and the delicate. The mind that sees beauty in unexpected and delightful placesn

My favourite part? I’d be lying if I didn’t confess it was the moment when the great man himself swept past with his entourage, paused a moment, swept back and leaned in to say almost conspiratorially “….you have beautiful hair!”

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13
Nov
2014
Posted by Nicole in Book, New in store 2 Comments

My new book is out at bookshops on December 1st but I’ve received a small number of advance copies – very exciting! Here are some peeks inside – first, the cover that we all know and love, with a quote from Alannah Hill.

Style is Eternal cover

Here’s the contents – I love how they look like a label sewn into a frock. Please excuse the shadow from my iphone pics.
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There are lots of modern and vintage fashion photos – these are in the glove section, where I talk about the different lengths and types of gloves and how to wear them. Gloves = instant glamour.
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Plus new pics of burlesque bombshell Frankie Valentine in an assortment of styles, photographed by Dominic Deacon – here’s my favourite.
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Plus lots more vintage pics – ’30s rollerskaters! I suspect the tight fitting shorts are made of real rubber and shiny rayon satin, in those pre-Lycra days. Super cute, comfortable and practical too.
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Some of my favourite style icons are there too: love Amy and Gwen x
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There are sections to help you identify different styles of garments, with charming archival illustrations from fashion catalogues:
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We also photographed some beautiful pieces which were generously donated to my private collection, like this late ’30s silk georgette dinner dress with cut steel beads.
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How to overhaul your wardrobe and tips on putting together the perfect travelling wardrobe!
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and in a very personal touch, some original sketches of my own.
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You can pick up an early copy from Circa – only $45 and signed of course! If you’d like a personal message, please let me know. It will be out in bookshops on December 1st. Also – I’m doing some book events!

Sydneysiders can see me talk about the new book at Berkelouw Books in Paddington (very excited, this is one of my all time favourite bookshops and my old stomping grounds from when I lived at Five Ways) on Tuesday, December 2nd. Bookings essential.

Brisbaners can see me at Avid Books on Tuesday, December 9th. This means I can catch the Japanese fashion exhibition too. Please don’t forget to book.

Melbourners can see me at the Strictly Vintage market on November 30th, where I’m presenting a talk on ’30s fashions and signing books. I’ll talk about “Style is Eternal” too and help with your fashion dilemmas.

As an extra treat, many of the pieces featured in the new book are also available from the webshop so you can have your favourite frock with a bit of added history. See here.

Hope to see you at an event soon!

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12
Nov
2014
Posted by Nicole in Calendar, Costume Collections, Where to buy vintage

If you care about fashion in Australia you’re probably familiar with the Darnell Collection, the largest private collection of international couture in Australia, curated by Charlotte Smith and frequently put on display at exhibitions and events.

Over the past ten years, the collection has grown and grown and Charlotte is now offering up a selection for your acquisition, so she can focus on the more special pieces.

From the official site:
Theodore Bruce are proud to present the de-accession of The Darnell Collection with over 500 lots of antique and vintage fashion, including garments, accessories, lace and mannequins. Ranging from the Edwardian & Victorian era through to the 1980’s all lots to be sold unreserved.

What: Vintage Fashion: The Darnell Collection
When: 23 November 2014 – from 11am
Where: Theodore Bruce auctioneers, Primary Saleroom : 6 Ralph Street, Alexandria, NSW 2015, Australia.
Cost: free to attend, buy as much as you like
More information: See the catalogue online here.

If you do go to the auction to buy I recommend that you inspect each item carefully for damage, as it greatly affects the value – especially if you want to wear it. I always travel with a tape measure and this can be particularly useful at auctions where there may not be a facility to try things on.

Auctions offer a great way to pick up good things at reasonable prices and there are some very nice items available in this collection. Assume nothing though, as all items are sold “as is”.

I’ve gone through the catalogue and picked out some interesting pieces for you. My best pick is lot 187 – the silk velvet ’20s opera coat. Check out the Deco styling! Worthy of Miss Phryne Fisher.

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Lot 187 – An Cream Evening Cape with Contrasting Black Hem Detail with long neck sashes, smot[sic] at back collar, gathered over shoulders, zigzag pattern at back along hem, fully lined; silk; 1920s;

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Lot 249 – A Yellow Bridesmaid/Party Dress; comes with an original sketch by grant cowan featured in Dreaming of Dior page 138-139

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Lot 256 – A vintage calico cotton travel clothes line with pegs and hooks all original; excellent condition 13cm

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Lot 385 – A Victorian ear trumpet ceramic, silk thread, rubber; American

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Lot 136 – Two pairs of early 20th century spats and one single civil war spat felted wool, cotton, wool; American

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Lot 359 – A Blue Opera Coat with Blue Flower Embroidery Large bow to front, with hook and eye closure, elbow length wide sleeves, knee length; 1960s;

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Lot 34 – A Black and White Smock Style Dress sleeveless, collar with covered buttons down front, 2 large pockets on skirt; by Prue Acton (labelled); 1970s;

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Lot 48 – A Black and Rust Patterned Cocktail Dress bubble-style skirt.

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Lot 91 – A Black and Pink Party Dress with empire waist, wide waistband, appliqued flower pattern at hem with sequin detail, side zip closure, fully lined; by Chelsea Design, Labels still attached; 2000

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Lot 159 – A Peach Evening Dress with White Glass Bead Decoration lined, no waist band, round neck, sleeveless with bands of glass beading around armholes, sack shape typical of the twenties; 1920s;

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Lot 198 – A skirt and two jackets 1950s

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Lot 168 – Five Bathing Suits from the 1950s -1980s various labels

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Lot 164 – A Two Piece Seaside Romper Suit sleveless with no collar, button closure to front, has bloomers, unlabelled; early 1900s;


11
Nov
2014
Posted by Nicole in 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, Calendar, Exhibitions

Meanwhile, there’s something great on in Queensland too. From the official site:

‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’ explores the tremendous innovation of Japanese fashion designers from the early 1980s to the present. With nearly 100 garments featured in the exhibition, ranging from the classic and elegant to outrageous, this will be a fascinating experience and rare opportunity to view these unique creations first hand.

Japanese fashion made an enormous impact on world fashion in the late 20th century. Designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto revolutionised the way we think of fashion today.

Their works will be shown alongside examples by the techno-couturier Junya Watanabe, a protégé of Kawakubo, together with the pioneer of the ‘Ura-Harajuku’ movement Jun Takahashi, and the new generation of radical designers including Tao Kurihara, Hiroaki Ohya, Matohu, Akira Naka, Hatra and mintdesigns.

Curated by eminent Japanese fashion historian Akiko Fukai, Director of the esteemed Kyoto Costume Institute in Japan, this exhibition explores the unique sensibility of Japanese design, and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing.

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What: Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion
When: 1 November 2014 – 15 February 2015 (Closed 14–16 November and Christmas Day) 10am to 5.30pm daily
Where: Queensland Art Gallery, Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct, South Bank, Brisbane
Cost: $16.50-21.50, see ticketing website for details
More information: at the QAG site.

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Comme des Garçons (Rei Kawakubo), Autumn/Winter 2012, Photography: Masayuki Hayashi. I can see Fashion Hayley looking great in this fabulous frock.


11
Nov
2014
Posted by Nicole in Calendar, Designers, Exhibitions

I hope to get over to Adelaide to see this great new exhibition – lucky Adelaide! Here are some details from the website:

Over 90 emblematic haute couture garments created by the world’s leading fashion designers will be drawn from the most comprehensive collection of French fashion in the world, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and curated by the museum’s 20th and 21st Centuries Fashion and Textile Collection Chief Curator, Pamela Golbin.

‘The works selected for this exhibition perfectly illustrate the style of each of the mythical couturiers behind this history of luxury and sumptuousness. Spectacular designs by Cristobal Balenciaga, Gabrielle Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent follow one another in this chronological review, revealing the universality of fashion viewed as a history of art and beauty.’ Pamela Golbin

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Photo copyright the Art Gallery of South Australia

What: FASHION ICONS: MASTERPIECES FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE MUSEE DES ARTS DECORATIFS, PARIS
When: 25 October 2014 – 15 February 2015 from 10am to 5pm daily
Where: Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide.
Cost: $5-$25 see the site for information.
More information: see the Fashion Icons site.

There are some really great events too, including one this Saturday on collecting vintage fashion with the fabulous Margot Riley and Charlotte Smith – wish I could go but I’m otherwise booked. Lucky Adelaide! Oh, well, I can’t complain – we have Gaultier in Melbourne (pics to come, the exhibition is extraordinary, or should I say “extraordinaire!”)

If you can, I do recommend this exhibition as it looks wonderful, and offers a crash course in the most important fashion designs of the 20th century. I’m sure it has a wonderful catalogue too.

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Photo copyright the Art Gallery of South Australia


7
Nov
2014
Posted by Nicole in fashion parade, Style icon 2 Comments

Here in Melbourne we’ve just had the biggest fancy dress party of the year – if you guessed the Melbourne Cup, well done!

Well I was younger I used to be dismayed at the wild and wacky costumes of racegoers but now that I’m older I understand that Derby Day is for classic racewear and the first Tuesday in November is when we can all cut loose and make a statement with bold colours, out there accessories and wave the flag for fantastic!

I look forward to seeing people of all ages express themselves creatively with fashion and get their faces on the news. It’s a great opportunity for fabulous nobodies – as well as the already famous – to have a good time and push those sartorial boundaries. Lord knows, they need pushing.

Richard Nylon pic by Mark Stewart
Here’s the wonderful Mr Richard Nylon, who can always be counted on to create an interesting look. I love the pairing of the lapel rosebud with the multitude of similar rose behind. Pic by Mark Stewart.

MELBOURNE CUP 2014Wonderful ladies in beautiful, bold colours. Aren’t they glorious? Like a group of technicolour roses.

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How wonderful are these Sydney ladies? How can you not smile as you look upon Amelia and Anna Vivash – so much love for these outfits, ladies. Thank you. I love the Fastfood-Kali-meets-Barbie ensemble. Pic from Facebook.

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Here’s a couple of chaps who look like they’ve wondered in from the local cosplay do – good work, Andrew Northridge and Peter Fitzgerald, you’re perfectly dressed for the Melbourne Cup (pic by AAP).

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Mr Lyons, the Mayor of Geelong is well known for his flamboyant style and here he’s matched by his glamourous partner, Elissa Friday. I love the matchy-matchy hot pink and purple accessories. Pic by Media Mode.

Gabi Grecko pic by Alex CoppelGabi Grecko dressed as a Valkyrie superhero, pic by Alex Coppel. Gabi got dressed on the plane from New York, you have to admire dedication like that. Gold star, Gabi: I think you look fabulous.

Gracyn Marsterson pic by David CairdGracyn Marsterson rocks a nautical theme in that most daring of race day outfits – trousers! Pic by David Caird.

Much as it is for the more beautiful and tasteful outfits, the key to these outrageous looks is good use of colour and attention to detail – the accessorising is a big part of the success of these outfits, and outfits they are: the look is complete from head to toe. These are not people who grabbed any old handbag or wore their most comfortable shoes. A lot of work went into these looks and they deserve to be appreciated.

Anyone can be beautiful, or dress well, or be tasteful and appropriate – it takes a special person to weather the slings and arrows of unkindness that can come with dressing boldly and do something more interesting.

I salute all of you and thank you for your services to fashion!


6
Oct
2014
Posted by Nicole in 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, Calendar, Exhibitions

Another wonderful and exciting fashion exhibition is about to open and tonight I’m off to see a preview.

From the NGV’s site:
The unconventional and playfully irreverent designs of Jean Paul Gaultier will be celebrated in the first international exhibition dedicated to this groundbreaking French couturier.

The National Gallery of Victoria will be the only Australian venue for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, which will feature more than 140 superbly crafted garments in addition to photographs, sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from runway shows, film, television, concerts and dance performances.

This spectacular overview of Gaultier’s oeuvre features the first dress created by the designer in 1971 to his latest haute couture and ready-to-wear collections, costumes worn by Kylie Minogue and Beyoncé and haute couture dresses worn by Nicole Kidman.

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What: The Fashion World of JP Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
When: 17th October 2014 to 18th February 2015, 10pm to 5pm daily (closed Tuesdays)
Where: National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd Melbourne
Cost: see the NGV site for ticketing information.
More information: see the NGV site.

Now here are some nice pics, borrowed from the NGV’s site – as if you need a reminder that Monsieur Gaultier is one of the most talented and creative designers we have. Can’t wait to grab the catalogue! Opens Friday next week.

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All photos courtesy National Gallery of Victoria.


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