Last year saw the National Gallery of Victoria roll out the red carpet for its inaugural NGV Gala, heralded as Melbourne’s answer to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Met Gala in New York.

The event also served as the opening of the blockbuster House of Dior 70-year anniversary exhibition, and this year is no different. The world-premiere of Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds will occur with another extravagant evening of carefully curated food, drinks and music.

The night begins with a black-tie dinner curated by award-winning chef Andrew McConnell. A series of sophisticated one-off dishes will draw inspiration from Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds and hero regional Victorian produce.

After dinner, cocktail hour kicks off canapés by Andrew McConnell, and drinks from The Bar at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, where Blumenthal's well-known visual theatrics will feature in three one-off creations. A fully immersive, botanical-themed gin garden by Bombay Sapphire will also offer drinks playing on the optical illusions and playful perspectives depicted in the artworks nearby.

Then it's party time. Last year, art-pop diva Kimbra headlined; the star performer for this year’s gala will be announced soon.

Guests will have exclusive access to Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds, which celebrates the work of iconic Dutch artist M.C. Escher together with Japanese design studio Nendo. The exhibition will see 160 of Escher’s prints and drawings presented alongside Nendo’s installations, experiential zones and specially designed lounges, all of which aim to bring the optical illusions and geometrically precise, mesmerising world of Escher’s works to life. The exhibition was inspired in part by the success of the 2015’s Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei.

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Although this year’s exhibition isn’t fashion focused, Vogue will have a presence as it does in New York, where the magazine’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour serves as the Met Gala chair. In Melbourne, Vogue Australia’s editor-in-chief Edwina McCann will co-chair the evening. Proceeds from the event will benefit the NGV Fashion and Textiles collection, which works to acquire, research and exhibit historic and contemporary fashion and textiles, and is home to pieces ranging from the sixth century right through to present-day Australian designs.

NGV Gala
National Gallery of Victoria
Sat December 1, 6pm–1am
Gala dinner: $2000 per person, 6pm arrival
Gala celebration: $500 per person, 8pm arrival
Tickets available here

ngv.vic.gov.au/ngv-gala

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