Black in Fashion
Mourning to Night
SEX, London (fashion house); Vivienne WESTWOOD (designer); Malcolm McLAREN (designer)
Court shoes (1974-1976)
leather, metal, rubber
(a-b) 17.3 x 8.5 x 23.2 cm (each)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1985
CT18C.a-b-1985

Black in fashion is a perennial topic of discussion. Throughout history the wearing of black clothing has had multiple and often contradictory meanings. At times, it has signified death, power, elegance, urbanity, subversion and sex appeal. Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night explores the symbolism and enduring use of black in Australian and international fashion.

The exhibition draws upon garments and accessories from the mid-nineteenth century to the present from the National Gallery of Victoria’s Fashion and Textiles collections together with a number of public and private loans. Portraits dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, from the NGV’s collection of paintings, also feature.

Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night will be the first exhibition to be held across both NGV venues, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square.


08 Feb 200831 Aug 2008 NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Fashion and Textiles, Level 2, NGVI
Fashion and Textiles, Level 2, NGVI