In early 2002, The Australian Ballet commissioned 17 of Australia's top designers to create their interpretation of a tutu to be worn by a dancer of the Australian Ballet. The only guideline was the definition of a tutu: a ballet dancer's short projecting skirt.
The TUTU project culminated in a one-off performance at the Sydney Opera House in July 2003. The NGV has extended the life of this innovative project with the exhibition Tutu: Designing for Dance, featuring eight tutus from the original TUTU project, along with four from the archives of The Australian Ballet. Designers represented include Akira Isogawa, Balarinji, Collette Dinnigan, Dinosaur Designs, Easton Pearson, Scanlan & Theodore, Toni Maticevski and Richard Tyler.