An exhibition featuring rare haute couture designs is landing at the NGV

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Words by Tara Smith

Another fashion masterpiece has arrived.

All weekend plans are cancelled until further notice.

This Friday will see the opening of National Gallery of Victoria’s Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift exhibition – a $1.4 million collection of gowns, dresses and archives from the last two centuries.

It will include over 150 garments from Parisian haute couture and international fashion houses, which have been gifted by philanthropist Krystyna Campbell-Pretty in honour of her late husband.

Pieces span (very rare) little black dresses from Gabrielle Chanel, haute couture gowns of Madame Grès and a certain women’s tuxedo from 1967 Yves Saint Laurent. You can also expect a rendition of Alexander McQueen’s iconic tartan gown (famously worn to the Met Gala by Sarah Jessica Parker in 2006), as well as a dress from Dior’s debut Spring Summer collection in 1947.

The collection was originally developed over several decades by former Givenchy couturier Dominique Sirop, before being purchased on behalf of the NGV by Krystyna. A collection of designer sketches, photographs and fashion archives will also be on show, with majority of the pieces never before been seen in Australia.

The Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift exhibition will run from March 1 – July 14 at NGV International.

Entry is free.


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