The National Gallery of Victoria’s collection of fashion and textiles provides an extensive repository for the reading of fashion. Here we can track the historic, aesthetic and artistic influences of a particular clothing style, sub-cultural movement or idea; we can scan the centuries, focus on a particular year or season or survey the artistic output of one designer. This new gallery is a site where one can experience an intimate knowledge gained directly from clothing that has survived the rigours of history, cultural taste and curatorial selection.
Like a club DJ sampling music on the dance floor, the exhibition House Mix, interprets the Gallery’s collection in new sequences, where works are arranged in engaging narratives that move across historical, modern and postmodern times. The fusion of historical and contemporary fashion presents a context in which to thoughtfully examine concepts of dress, form, reference and creation within the intricate web of artistic hierarchies and cultural protocols. A series of clothing ideas are tracked through distinct groupings, relating works in a visually harmonious and thematic dialogue.