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Were you one of the many people who savoured all the beautiful garments on loan from the V & A at the Bendigo Art Gallery a couple of years ago?

Have you been hanging out for more of the same?

It’s fantastic that we are privileged to see some the extraordinary collection from the V&A here in Australia as a result of the close collaboration between these two galleries.

And now there’s a new exhibition about to open that is sure to delight students of fashion, lovers of haute couture as well as evoke strong emotional responses from those who remember their wedding day as being THE most important day of their lives.

All the information about  The White Wedding Dress –  200 years of Wedding Fashions exhibition can be found  here.

There is a fantastic range of associated events running in conjunction with the exhibition so make sure you check out the website for further information.

 

 

 

Does your passion for all things Textile find you heading off for exhibitions featuring lace, fabric or historic costuming?

Do you hoard sewing paraphernalia like old cotton reels, ancient cards of press studs, darning mushrooms or thimbles?

Are you like me and have more sewing machines than you are ever likely to use just because they are beautiful pieces of equipment?

The simplest and perhaps most underrated accomplishment in the development of clothing design and functionality was the advent of the button.  Made from all manner of things – wood, plastic, bakerlite, polished stones, ivory, shell, metal, enamel, porcelain and even perspex – buttons have kept us and our clothing together, made sure we were warm and modest and added that little something extra to couture designs. They are both functional and decorative, hand made or mass produced, can signify rank or status, colourful or plain and often found languishing in jars, boxes and drawers once separated from their garment of origin.

This weekend is a great opportunity to explore all things buttonlike with a visit to the Kyneton Museum’s exhibition “Button Up” and this Saturday is especially recommended as there will be a button sale held along side the show.

Details on the Kyneton Museum opening hours and location can be found here.

For those interested in the Art of Costume, this exhibition of Costumes, designs, photographs and even one set of scenery, the Ballet Russes exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is a ‘must see’.

It was a last minute decision to take the trip to Canberra this weekend but I had to come as it was advertised that the exhibition was to close next weekend.  Whilst I have been here it has been announced that the exhibition will remain open until 1 May, so those of you who have procrastinated like I have can take this chance to come and view this wonderful collection much of which has not been seen in public since it was last worn on stage by the dancers themselves.

For a ballet company that was so obviously European, I was surprised at the number of Australian artists including Darryl Lindsay who had over time contributed to its international standing and success.  Illustrations for references depicting costumes, original costume sketches and paintings, programme and poster designs gave the viewer a feeling for the intricacy and the level of collaboration between various artists in order to realise a production.

The most striking of costumes is the piece the Gallery has selected as the “star” of the show – a tunic worn by the dancer playing the role of the Blue God in the ballet Le Dieu Bleu. Having seen this pictured in advertising and promotional material, I had assumed it a costume for a woman but no – it was designed for the principal dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and apparently it still bears traces of the blue body makeup on the inner surfaces.

I found it extremely interesting to see several garments on display that had received no conservation treatment at all – the work that goes into maintaining and preserving these pieces can surely be appreciated all the more when you see the pieces that have not been treated to this as yet.

Not being a fan of classical ballet, I was unaware of just how much the classical Australian Ballet scene owes to the existence of the Ballet Russes and its dancers.  It would appear that our  own companies and the early top schools in the country were begun by members of the company who elected to stay in Australia after a tour here.

What a remarkable legacy we have.

Over the weekend I took myself into the NGV St KIlda Road to view the ‘blockbuster’ exhibition “Salvador Dali Liquid Desire”.

salvador-dali I am at a loss to explain or to describe this collection – it was so overwhelming.  The collection spans his entire working life; some of the early pieces on show dated from his teenage years.  Oh, what it would be to have been as skilled as he was at age 15!

Works range from early landscapes in oils to jewelry designs, photographic studies, film and theatre collaborations, limited edition artist illustrated books, sculptures, pen and ink drawings and, of course, his surrealist paintings.

I highly recommend this wonderful experience – tuck your preconceived ideas away and go with an open mind and allow plenty of time.  There is so much to see, it is almost too much for a single viewing.

The exhibition runs until October 4.

I was delighted to discover that the National Gallery of Victoria has completed the restoration of a beautiful early Australian Quilt and it has been finally put on show for a brief period at the NGV Federation Square Gallery.

The article in the paper had a full sized picture of this magnificent large pieced and appliqued quilt that had been rescued from a shed in country Victoria.

sample_e_dickins

Just a corner peek at this quilt – its size is not truly reflected with this little bit!!

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