The Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift, generously donated to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) by leading Melbourne based philanthropist Krystyna Campbell-Pretty, will be on display from 1 March – 14 July 2019 at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Entry is free.
Gabrielle Chanel’s little black dresses, the deftly draped haute couture gowns of Madame Grès, Yves Saint Laurent’s ground-breaking women’s tuxedo Le Smoking, suit from 1967 are just some of the 150 garments made by Parisian haute couture and international fashion houses, many women would enjoy to access in their walk-in wardrobe.
Original sketches and workbooks by designers Jeanne Lanvin and Madame Gres from the new specialist fashion research library created for the NGV Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Research Collection, will also be on display alongside embroidered samples from Lesage, fashion photography from Paris fashion houses such as Givenchy, and rare early fashion magazines, including Vogue, Les modes and Gazette du bon ton.
Krystyna Campbell-Pretty said “Fashion can be simultaneously artistic, pragmatic, and a crucial physical record of complex construction skills and techniques that are all but gone. For me, fashion is also visual and social history, reflecting the role, perception and lives of women in society” she said.
The NGV holds nearly 9000 works in their Fashion and Textile Collection, which ranges from the early days of Paris Couture through the Belle Epoque and Jazz Age. It is one of the most important outside of Europe and North America.
French couturières Jeanne Paquin, Jeanne Lanvin and Madeleine Vionnet helped re-define and introduce a new language of modernity into fashion during the early decades of the twentieth century.
The way their garments were designed and constructed inspired other innovative international and Australian designers, to fashion the future.
A special event breakfast Designing the Modern Woman: Couturières of the Early 20th Century, will be held in conjunction with this showing will be a celebration for International Women’s Day with Special Collections Curator at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City April Calahan, exploring their legacy.
Tony Ellwood AM, Director NGV, said, “Krystyna Campbell-Pretty’s support of the Fashion and Textiles Collection is unprecedented for the department. It continues to acquire major acquisitions for the collection, including iconic works and garments by previously unrepresented designers” he said.
From the 1949 Molyneux of Paris glamourous Evening Dress of red taffeta, to Alexander McQueen’s iconoclastic tartan gown, which was famously worn by Sarah Jessica Parker to New York’s Met Gala in 2006,The Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift will offer an arresting view of the world’s best fashion and haute couture, illuminating ground-breaking designs, never before exhibited in Australia.
Fashion today is all about an attitude, a way of life we choose; fashion is definitely far more than a frock; it’ all about perceptions, aspirations and the way we live our life; a forever changing and eternal form of human expression.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2019
March 1 – July 14, 2019
St Kilda Road, Melbourne