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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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


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.


5
Sep
2014
Posted by Nicole in Bridal, Calendar, Exhibitions 11 Comments

Please accept my apologies for neglecting to share some photos taken at the opening of this wonderful new National Trust exhibition. This exhibition opened a while ago, and closes at the end of this month but hopefully it’s not too late to go and see it now.

From the site:
The collection spans over 200 years of fashion, including pieces from the world-leading designers such as Valentino for Princess Marie Chantal of Greece. A mini retrospect of leading Australian designers – Akira Isogawa and Collette Dinnigan will showcase their fashion career.

Celebrity gowns include dresses designed for Jennifer Hawkins (Maticevski) and Kyly Clarke (Alex Perry) to film and television pieces worn by Kylie Minogue (as Charlene in Neighbours) to Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Meryl Streep.

What: Love, Desire, Riches – The Fashion of Weddings exhibition
When: 1st July until 30th September 2014, 10am to 4pm each day
Where:Rippon Lea, 192 Hotham St, Rippon Lea
Cost: between $4 -$15.
More information: at the website.

You can see me here at the opening with Tim and Alison Waters.

Tim, Alison, NJPhoto courtesy the National Trust.

More importantly, here are some pics from the exhibition itself. Firstly a few words.
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I’m always felt a little torn about wedding gown exhibitions: bridal fashions change much more slowly than other types of dress and often tend to the more conservative, especially before the ’90s. There was this idea about the virtuous woman, who was modest and reflected her social class, or the class she was marrying into. The results can be a little dull.

When you put older gowns up against their contemporaries, as is done here, there can be a bit of a clash – modern brides often like a sexier, more glamorous movie star, red carpet look.

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Here we also have several celebrity gowns and – a highlight for me – some choice film wedding costumes. There’s nothing like seeing something that you’ve only seen on screen for a few minutes in a long ago scene, up close where you can walk around it and look at that intriguing detail.

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It’s also a great opportunity to ooh and aah over how tiny the Victorian waistlines were. One in particular looks like you could put your hands around her waist. Much beauty too. Plus reminders that wedding gowns weren’t always white.

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One room is dedicated to the darker side of weddings with the banquet table set up for Miss Havisham’s cobwebbed feast and no fewer than three film costumes for the Dickens character. I appreciated the room: it gave light and shade to the fantasies elsewhere.

Upstairs is a room dedicated to the art of couture sewing, with an Akira bridal gown hand made from paper patterns, and vintage sewing tools like enormous scissors and antique mannequins. It’s a nice reminder of how much goes into creating the once-worn confections.

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I thought the setting particular apt, as weddings are personal and intimate affairs, celebrating the love of two people – Rippon Lea as both domestic and wedding venue resonated with the gowns more than a stark art gallery does. The older garments looked particularly at home amongst the sumptuous interiors.

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The men were not forgotten, with a room dedicated to manly attire appropriate for the occasion.

“Love, Desire, Riches” closes at the end of the month. I hope you can see it. If you’d like tickets, the National Trust have offered five double passes – to win one, please leave a comment about your favourite wedding gown – perhaps a famous one from history, cinema or even your own. Winners will be chosen at random and entries close Monday midnight. Good luck!

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29
Aug
2014
Posted by Nicole in 1900s, Australian Fashion, Calendar, Exhibitions

Sydney people should look out for a new exhibition on early 20th century fashions, opening soon. It presents a rare opportunity to see Australian Edwardian and ‘teens era fashions.

From fine lacy lawn tea gowns & elaborate beaded opulence to austere military & service garments, come and see an eclectic and beautiful display of fine Edwardian & War time Fashion, with a slice of Australian style.

This exhibition takes form as a collaboration between the National Trust Costume and Textiles Collection and the private collection of Glennis Murphy – Over the Top Vintage, along with items from other collections and collectors, including Australian Military Specialist Brad Manera, Cavalcade of History and Fashion, NSW Lancers Memorial Museum, The Kings School and family mementos from Old Government House Volunteers.

The exhibition runs as part of NSW History Week, marking the centenary of WW1. Circa Vintage has loaned an Edwardian lace up corset.

What: Clothing The People: Edwardian and Wartime Fashion Exhibition
When: 5th September – 6th October 2014, Open 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday.
Where:Old Government House, Parramatta Park/Pitt St, Parramatta NSW 2150
For ticket prices and more info please see the official site.

Complementing the exhibition, there will be two specialist talks which will take place on 6 September. ‘Military Dress’ by Brad Manera and ‘Edwardian Ladies Fashion’ by Eleanor Keene, Curator. See the website for details.

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Photo credits: the National Trust NSW.


1
Aug
2014
Posted by Nicole in 1960s, Australian Fashion, Calendar, Exhibitions

A next exhibition of ’60s Australian fashion and photography opens next week in Brighton.

From the Artshub website:
Featuring key looks from throughout the decade, this exhibition traces the diversification of women’s fashion from the classic silhouette of the late 1950s to the wild ‘hippie’ styles of the early 1970s.

Bringing together a succinct selection of dresses, suits and gowns created by key Melbourne labels, Polyester & Pantyhose delineates popular silhouettes from the A-line Mod look to billowing maxi shapes. A suite of glamorous photographs by the celebrated Melbourne fashion photographer Bruno Benini will also be on display.

In addition to designs by Prue Acton, Tullo and Merivale, the exhibition will feature the 1963 Gown of the Year designed by Hartnell of Melbourne, and local model Coral Knowles’ wedding dress, commissioned by the Australian Wool Board in 1966.

I’ll also be presenting an afternoon tea talk on ’60s fashions to accompany the exhibition – the talk will be on Tuesday 9th September at 2pm. Bookings required – call 9592 0291 or email bacc@bayside.vic.gov.au. Seats and scones are limited.

What: Polyester and Pantyhose – Silhouettes of the ‘Sixties, fashion exhibition
When: 9 August – 28 September 2014, Open Wednesday to Friday 11am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 1pm – 5pm.
Where: The Gallery, Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre, Brighton Town Hall, cnr Carpenter and Wilson Streets, Brighton.
Cost: free entry.
For more information contact: Bayside City Council

Circa is lending some ’60s fashion and accessories to the exhibition too.

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31
Jul
2014
Posted by Nicole in 1800s, Exhibitions

If you haven’t seen the Fashion Detective exhibition, currently on at the NGV Ian Potter Centre until the end of August, I thoroughly recommend it.

The NGV team has outdone themselves this time, combining not only historical 19th century fashion but providing insights into their forensic work to determine the origins and construction of items. You’ll see and read details within the – sometimes deadly – fabric. They’ve also applied a criminal element, collaborating with crime writers to produce fiction.

Entry is free so there’s no excuse not to see it! I didn’t manage to get through it all when I was there so I’ll be back as soon as I can. Here are some pics, hope you like.

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31
Jul
2014
Posted by Nicole in Calendar, Exhibitions, lingerie

A new fashion exhibition from London’s Victoria and Albert museum has opened at the Bendigo Art Gallery. From the website:

The role of underwear in fashion is pivotal. The majestic shapes of 18th century court dress, the distorted hourglass shapes of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and Dior’s cinched ‘New Look’ were all dependent upon elaborate corsetry, technologically complex petticoats, hoops, and padded underpinnings.

It is only since the 1960s that women have been expected to embody the fashionable ideal by way of diet and exercise and without the aid of foundation garments, so understanding underwear is fundamental to our appreciation of fashion history. It is also important for cultural and social historians, to whom it provides a symbol of changing social mores and attitudes to morality, sex, beauty and gender.

What: Undressed, fashion exhibition
When: 19 July – 26 October 2014, Open daily 10am – 5pm
Where: Bendigo Art Gallery 42 View Street, Bendigo, VIC 3550
Cost: see the site for ticketing options.
See more at: the Bendigo Art Gallery website.

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25
Jun
2014
Posted by Nicole in 1800s, Calendar, Exhibitions 6 Comments

An exciting new exhibition opens at the National Trust next week:

If today’s technology had been introduced in the 19th century, what would the world look like? The Antipodean Steampunk Show attempts to answer this question in a fascinating mash-up of past, future, and fantasy.

Born in literature in the 1980s as a response to the sci-fi ‘Cyberpunk’ genre, the visual richness of Steampunk work soon transcended the page. Its influence can be found in film and fashion, as well as in the workshops of scores of hobbyist tinkerers and professional artists alike. The dynamic works to be exhibited include jewellery, shoes, time machines, ray guns, photography and music players, all modified to reflect 19th century aesthetics.

The artists come from a range of cross-discipline backgrounds including engineer-sculptors, artist-scientists, shoe-makers, jeweller-taxidermists, writers, performers, photographers, film-makers, tinkerers, designers and hobbyists.

In addition to contemporary works, the exhibition will include examples of historical machinery, books and films that inspired Steampunk, including nautical, aeronautical, musical and navigational equipment, sourced from the National Trust Collection.

What: The Antipodean Steampunk Show
When: Monday 30 June until Friday 8 August 2014, 10am to 4pm each day
Where: National Trust Victorian headquarters, Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne
Cost: $10.00 Adult, $ 7.50 Concession, $ 5.00 Child or National Trust member
More information click here
There’s also an interesting programme to accompany the exhibition.

Here’s one of Kate O’Brien’s artworks – this image isn’t in the exhibition but there are other ones.

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Here are some images of the costumes in the exhibition. Photos reproduced courtesy the National Trust (Victoria).
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