National Gallery of Victoria or NGV is currently presenting an exhibition ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ which exclusively focuses on the works and contributions of Coco Chanel. Organised in partnership with Palais Galliera, a permanent fashion museum in Paris, the exhibition is a part of the annual NGV Gala that celebrates art, fashion, food and music. This is perhaps the first time that the works of the French fashion designer are exclusively being showcased in the Oceania region.
“There is no bigger name in twentieth-century fashion design than Gabrielle Chanel. Her originality, timelessness and elegance forged a radically modern vision of fashion and a singular style. 'Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto' will be expansive, visually sumptuous and will reveal the achievements and enduring legacy of the extraordinary French fashion designer,” asserted Tony Ellwood AM, Director of the NGV.
Launched on 4th December 2021, the event will remain open to the public until 25th April 2022. With the intent to showcase Chanel’s contribution to the 20th-century fashion scene, the showcase exhibits more than 230 garments, accessories and jewellery pieces that were designed by her and which went on to redefine the fashion of that era. The collection is populated with loaned pieces from major public museums as well as from private collections and reflect the impressive range of the couturièrer. The exhibit also promptly highlights the role that Chanel’s designs have played towards the emancipation of women by creating comfortable and elegant everyday garments that could replace the corseted outfits and help women realise their desires.
“By bringing together all the facets of an exceptional creativity, this exhibition throws new light on Gabrielle Chanel's stylistic legacy,” asserted Bruno Pavlovsky, President of CHANEL Fashion and of CHANEL SAS.
The Australian exhibition, curated by Miren Arzalluz and Véronique Belloir, the Director and Head of Collections of the Palais Galliera museum respectively will serve as the international debut of ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ exhibition, which earlier premiered in Paris in 2020.
Another interesting event that will populate the showcase is ‘Chanel in Context’, a three-part talk series that will include a discussion of the historical, social and cultural context of Chanel’s designs, an in-depth exploration of the language and iconography of her designs, and a critical discussion of the relevance of the French designer’s work during first-wave feminism.
The NGV exhibition is segregated into different sections with garments and other luxury items displayed chronologically or thematically, thus offering a comprehensive view of her remarkable career. The delicate lace gowns, wool jersey and tailored tweed suits, beaded garments and costume jewellery displayed at the gallery offer a peek at her versatility as a designer.
Some of the prominent pieces that stand out in the exhibition include the gowns she designed in the 1930s, the abstract Chanel N°5 perfume she created in 1921, her quilted 2.55 bag and two-tone slingback and the iconic Chanel suits that debuted in the 1910s.
The exhibition is open to the public from 4th December 2021 to 25th April 2022 at the National Gallery of Victoria at 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia.