The red carpet was pink, the champagne was cold and the guests were radiating with a beguiling glow – some of them, quite literally.

The opening night of Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection was, as expected, a night of raucous celebration. Think the genius of artist, muse and nightlife impresario Leigh Bowery, the imagination of your favourite season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the theatricality of the Met Gala and you’ll come close to the vibe.

The night was hosted with aplomb by drag artist Art Simone and featured performance pieces by formidable duo The Huxleys that stretched the length of the evening. Queer singer, composer and DJ Tanzer provided shimmering tunes and Cub Sport (with lead singer Tim Nelson sporting a regal and very fluffy creation by designer Paolo Sebastian) also performed for the glittering crowds.

The exhibition itself is a landmark, Australian-first event exploring more than 400 artworks through a queer lens. It’s fair to say, it was welcomed in style.

Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection is on display at NGV International from Thursday March 10 to Wednesday August 21, 2022. Entry is free.

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