Juliet Sulejmani | April 26, 2016
Ground Level, Temporary Exhibitions
5 March 2016 – 31 July 2016
Open 10am-5pm daily
I attended a seminar at the NGV last week titled Fashion is Art and heard from a lot of interesting people, who had a lot of interesting stories to share. I think it would be a shame to keep all that information to myself, so this is the first of a few posts that I will write on the seminar. I hope that you enjoy.
The first speaker was Paolo Di Trocchio who is the Curator of Fashion and Textiles at the NGV. Paola introduced the topic ‘Fashion is Art’ and explained the details behind the exhibition ‘200 years of Australian Fashion’ that she curated.
Paola explained that she was extremely excited to be able to have the opportunity to curate an exhibition that would encompass ‘200 years of the remarkable, growth, design and innovation in this country.’
The exhibition starts with the earliest known surviving dress from 1805, which is made out of Indian muslin and ends with a special commission by Dion Lee which was created only two months ago specifically for the exhibition.
It took just over two months for the exhibition to be curated and because this is the first major survey of Australian Fashion, they also needed to create an image that would represent the 200 years.
The NGV worked with Virgina Dowzer and Bronwyn Kidd to create the image, which has been illustrated by me at the top of this post. The image is set at the beach, Wilson’s Prom, because they saw ‘the beach as representative of the optimism of Australia, the freedom, the light, and colour, themes and ideas that are referred to in relation to Australian fashion.’
One piece was chosen from the various themes of the exhibition to represent the 200 years. The beach, the garments and models were photographed separately and then photoshopped together to create the image.
The Themes that you will see in the exhibition are:
1805: the earliest known dress and the beginning of a network of international trade
The Department Store: the shopping platform at the time, including Bright and Hitchcocks/Geelong, Farmer and Co, La Petite, Robertson and Moffat
Dressmakers and Tailors: the first makers, Miss Scott (Brisbane), Doak and Beatty (Sydney)
The Salon, from 1930s to the 1950s.: a more intimate shopping environment, represented by Lillian Wightman who opened Le Louvre and moved her boutique to the top end of Collins street, which is still referred to as The Paris End of Collins street
1960s: this part celebrates the mini dress through facets of 1960s, futuristic space age hippy movement, flower power and sports.
Flamingo park: 1973, Jenny Kee, opens her frock salon in the strand arcade
Art clothes: exhibition in 1980 in NSW, that places contemporary Australian fashion, previous to that it was large international fashion or historical fashion that was celebrated in the art gallery.
Fashion Design Council: which was an organisation founded in 1983 in order to nurture and support young talent and talent, e.g. Martin Grant, Christopher Graf, Jenny Banister.
Fashion Weeks: presents Australian fashion on the international stage, firstly with Colette Dinnigan who presents in paris, in 1995, then with the development like Australian fashion week in 1996 and the Melbourne Fashion Festival.
Contemporary Fashion: strong individuals and examples of Australian fashion, and purposely isolated on individual platforms so as to celebrate the unique signatures of our incredibly strong and incredibly talented contemporary Australian Designers.