gallery [Exhibition] The Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Gift at the NGV

Must see: closing soon!

What: The Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Gift fashion exhibition
When: 1st March to 14th July 2019, 10pm to 5pm daily
Where: National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd Melbourne
Free! see the NGV site for more information.

Ever since my visit to see this incredible exhibition, I’ve been telling everyone to see it too. It’s quite possibly the best comprehensive collection of significant international couture from 1890 to today. It’s like a wishlist of what you would buy if you had sufficient taste, resources and nous: major works by designers at the height of their powers.

Particularly strong in the early designs with several good examples from the House of Worth, Paquin and Doucet, it does not disappoint as you progress through the 20th century with Chanel, Dior, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga…up to contemporary with Alexander McQueen and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. As Edie Monsoon might say “names, sweetie, names!”

To their credit, the NGV have staged this exhibition splendidly: each era has a differently themed room and the garments are displayed with appropriate (and authentic) accessories and surrounded by art and sculpture. I really like the accessories, especially the 1920s and 1930s shoes.

Great thought has been given to the ability to view the garments from different angles and the spaces are spacious.

The text panels are detailed and informative but as is often the way, written in small font and positioned close to the ground. The difficulty in viewing them meant that I took photos so I could enlarge them. This is standard practice for museums and galleries but I rather wish they were more accessible.

To be honest, I found myself quite overwhelmed with the fabulousness of it all and had to sit down with the proverbial cup of tea. It was intense. Which means of course that I must go back before it closes on Sunday week.

Here are some iphone pics for you.

1890 Afternoon dress by Worth, 1900 Day suit.
Evening gowns by Worth, 1912, Afternoon dress by Paquin 1912 and Evening gown by Verhaeren 1909.
Evening dresses by Boue Soeurs, 1923 and 1925.
Evening dresses, 1923, 1925 and 1918.
Evening cape 1925 and Evening cape by Vionnet 1928
Dress and cape by Maisons Agnes-Drecoll 1938 and Evening dress by Maggy Rouff 1937.
Afternoon dress by Patou 1930-1935. I love this print so much, it’s currently my twitter background.
A room of little black dresses by Chanel and others, 1910-1930s.
Evening dress by Madame Gres 1939.
‘Hall of Mirrors’ jacket and dress by Schiaparelli 1938 and 1950s evening gowns by Dior, Fath and Paquin.

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