Fashion Icons exclusive to Adelaide


Les Arts Decoratifs. Exposition: Christian Lacroix, histores de mode, 2007. Photo: Luc Boegly.

Les Arts Decoratifs. Exposition: Christian Lacroix, histores de mode, 2007. Photo: Luc Boegly.

Fashion Icons: Masterpieces from the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs
Presented by: Art Gallery of South Australia in association with Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Art Exhibitions Australia

In 2009 Chanel’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, stated, “Couture exists to keep our customers dreaming.”

This summer, the Art Gallery of South Australia will turn dreams into reality with the most stylish of exhibitions, Fashion Icons. The exhibition, exclusive to Adelaide, will feature more than one hundred masterpieces of the world’s best haute couture.

The hand made bespoke garments, currently en route from Paris were created by the greatest and most inspirational designers of the last sixty years, including Chanel, Pierre Balmain, Courrèges, Comme de Garçons, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Jacques Estérel, John Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Kenzo Jap, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Helmut Lang, Lanvin, Guy Laroche, Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Poppy Moreni, Thierry Mugler, Jean Muir, Emilio Pucci, Rochas, Sonia Rykiel, Olivier Theyskens, Emanuel Ungaro, Valentino, Dries van Noten, Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto and more.

Pamela Golbin, Chief Curator of Modern and Contemporary Fashion and Textiles at Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, chose from the most comprehensive collection of French fashion in the world. The exhibition will feature dazzling and inspirational pieces that “perfectly illustrate the style of each of the mythical couturiers behind the history of luxury and sumptuousness”. Also the Curator of Fashion Icons, she promises, “Spectacular designs by Cristobel Balenciaga, Gabrielle Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and more follow one another in this chronological review, revealing the universality of fashion.”

Amongst the highlights will be the exquisite gown from Christian Dior’s New Look collection. Named the ‘Adelaide’ dress, it was shown at the Dior parade in Sydney in 1948, and the designer considered the evening gown with seventy metres of tulle in the skirt alone, his masterpiece. The dress marks the end of wartime restraint and embodies femininity, luxury and extravagance.

In stark contrast, also on display will be the corset-amour dress from the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2007 New Sexy Glam collection worn by Lady Gaga in the artwork for her single “Papparazzi”.

As one would expect, valuable haute couture does not travel lightly. The extremely complex and sometimes delicate couture garments are coming with their own team of dressers and mannequins sized specifically for each garment. The installation alone will take seven weeks. It will be without question, worth the wait.

Also included in the fashion event of the decade will be engaging panel discussions, fashion illustration and photography workshops, talks, films, and up-late events, full details of which will be released on Monday 01 September 2014.

As Pierre Balmain himself put it, “Good fashion is evolution, not revolution”. Stroll through time to find out what he was talking about at Fashion Icons. The exhibition itself is set to become dernier cri.

The countdown has begun to the unveiling of the Spring/Summer 2014/15 collection at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Tickets go on sale on Monday 01 September 2014.

To be kept up to date with Fashion Icon’s eNews subscribe to the eNews mailing list on the Fashion Icons website.

Story by Emily Morris
Twitter: @EmMo87

Fashion Icons
Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide.
Season: 25 October 2014 – 15 February 2015
Tickets: On sale from 01 September 2014
Bookings: Booking information will be made available from the exhibition website


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