The NGV is showing a huge collection of gowns, dresses and fashion ephemera stretching back more than a century.
The collection of more than 150 items was amassed by a former assistant designer to Hubert Givenchy, couturier Dominique Sirop, who started collecting when he was 14. Philanthropist Krystyna Campbell-Pretty bought the collection, and has gifted it to the NGV.
The acquisition was announced three years ago, but now we can finally see it in the Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift exhibition, which opens to the public on Friday March 1.
The exhibition is full of pivotal fashion moments. In 1967, when women wearing pants was bohemian and daring, Yves Saint Laurent introduced Le Smoking, a women’s tuxedo. You’ll find it here. Alexander McQueen’s 2006 tartan collection, in which he revisits his Scottish roots at the height of his technical prowess, is represented too. And there’s a whole suite of Coco Chanel’s iconic little black dresses, from the LBD’s roots in the 1920s through to its becoming a fashion icon.
There will also be samples, sketches from a slew of designers, fashion photography, and early and rare editions of Vogue and other fashion magazines on display.