Each costume was carefully examined to ascertain its condition, treatment needs and suitability for display. Considering the fragility, age and delicacy of the fabrics; silk, lace, velvet, satin, linen and wool, the collection is in remarkable condition. Many pieces needed very little conservation before being on public display. Others required more intervention including lining, stabilisation of internal corsetry, reconstruction of degraded underarm sections and extensive stitching repairs of fragile embellishments.
In order for each of the fashion pieces to be on display it is important that the proper silhouette of each costume be achieved. Appropriate mannequins were carefully chosen for each individual piece and the costume was internally supported by underpinnings to ensure longevity within the NGV Fashion Collection
The NGV Conservation Department work in conjunction with the NGV’s Historical Underpinnings Specialist who created all the corsetry, panniers and petticoats for the historical costumes whilst on display. The more modern costumes are padded out, directly on the mannequin in order for them to be correctly supported for display.