Captivating style
1950s Melbourne
Athol SHMITH
Australian 1914–1990
No title (Fashion illustration. Model Virginia Grey) 1951 (detail)
gelatin silver photograph
50.0 x 39.8 cm (image)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by the Shmith Family, Fellow, 1993

NGV Collection Focus

In the 1950s, tree-lined Collins Street was considered Melbourne’s epicentre of style. Here, exclusive salons and millinery houses reigned over fashionable society by selling custom-made luxury to a discerning clientele. Photographers also contributed to the glamour of the precinct. Several leading studios at the ‘Paris end of Collins’ specialized in commercial fashion illustration, creating enchanting images of ideal beauty and perfection for public consumption. This small exhibition at NGV Australia, pairs the work of Hall Ludlow and Thomas Harrison, acclaimed for their ingenious designs and technical prowess, with the fashion photography of Athol Shmith, the celebrated studio and street photographer.


The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square
Temporary Exhibitions
Level 2