Yesterday, Sunday December 3, the National Gallery of Victoria opened the doors for the public launch of its blockbuster NGV Triennial: a vivid tour through magic, matter and memory. But the night before, VIPs, stars, gallery partners and ticketholders got a glamorous sneak peek at the annual NGV Gala.

The blue carpet was rolled out in front of the NGV’s iconic water wall and a sardonic thumbs-up sculpture by British visual artist David Shrigley. Guests showed up in their black-tie best – wearing designer frocks and fashion-forward ensembles that could’ve easily been part of the Triennial exhibition itself.

Among the attendees on Saturday were actors and TV personalities Liam Hemsworth, Tony Armstrong, Melissa Leong, Ayesha Madon and Olivia DeJonge; musicians Baker Boy and Gretta Ray; athletes Dylan Alcott and Moana Hope; visual artist Atong Atem; author (and former Miss Universe) Maria Thattil; PE Nation founder Pip Edwards; and runway model Abbey Lee (in a Schiaparelli number – fitting, as there’s a Maison Schiaparelli fashion display in the exhibition).

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They and more than 1000 other guests were treated to a headline DJ set by Sneaky Sound System in the gallery’s Great Hall, with champagne by Moët & Chandon, Four Pillars gin, and wines courtesy of Yering Station.

Attendees were among the first to view the Triennial, featuring nearly 100 works by more than 120 artists, designers and collectives. Highlights include robot dogs, paintings you can step on, a participatory project by Yoko Ono, newly acquired works by Tracey Emin, and a 100-metre-long woven fish fence by women from western Arnhem Land.

NGV Triennial 2023 is open now until Sunday April 7, 2024. Entry is free.

Broadsheet is a proud media partner of the National Gallery of Victoria.