Just weeks after the NGV unveiled French Impressionism – part of Melbourne’s Winter Masterpieces exhibition series – the gallery has announced its summer blockbuster, which will have just as much of a focus on the French.

From December 5, the gallery will centre on fashion visionary Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. And it’s billed as “the first exhibition in Australia to exclusively focus on the significant contribution to 20th-century fashion culture by the renowned French couturière”.

The major exhibition will come direct from Palais Galliera – Paris’s pre-eminent fashion museum, where it premiered in autumn last year – to make its international debut.

Titled Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto, it will showcase more than 100 garments that demonstrate the trajectory of Chanel’s career – and her timeless, restrained luxury. Among them: elegant lace gowns, wool-jersey and tailored tweed suits, and intricately beaded pieces, as well as some of her striking jewellery and accessory designs.

Pieces will come from the Palais Galliera holdings, but there are also some important loans from major public museums and private collections. Also expect to find several designs pulled from the NGV collection as well as some never-before-seen acquisitions.

The exhibition will open with a black-tie gala on December 4; tickets are on sale now.

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto will run from December 5, 2021, to April 25, 2022, at NGV International.

ngv.vic.gov.au