Classical Mode to Contemporary Dress

Free entry

NGV International

Nineteenth Century European Painting and Sculpture, Level 2

2 Dec 09 – 27 Jun 10

This exhibition drawn predominantly from the NGV Collection, will feature fashion, sculpture, painting, decorative arts and photography from antiquity to the present day to explore the practice of draping cloth on the body in two dominant modes, clinging drape and elevated drape. Clinging drape relies on a direct interaction between the body and cloth, as in classical sculpture, while elevated drape shows drape theatrically animated away from the body as in the festooning of fabric over crinolines and bustles.

Within this historical framework, this exhibition will also explore the works of twentieth and twenty-first century designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Vivienne Westwood, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Hussein Chalayan who have created works that reference the history of drape while extending the boundaries of fashion.

Select Works