Black to black

Part of the Black in Fashion exhibition at the NGV

I was always going to love the Black in Fashion exhibition, there was no doubt about it. The exhibition’s content is fairly self-evident and there aren’t really any surprises, but for us common folk who would never otherwise get to come within lunging distance of an original Dior “new look” cocktail dress, or who try to suppress a suspiciously Goth-like lust for nineteenth-century mourning wear, it’s enough to set our fingertips tingling.

The embellishments of the Victorian half-mourning gowns and gorgeous structural elements of the more modern outfits (read: Comme des Garçons) are aurally enhanced by a rather literal soundtrack of songs with ‘black’ in the lyrics, by the likes of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Sisters of Mercy, Depeche Mode etc. No Rolling Stones to be heard though – apparently they weren’t that literal.

If the exhibition’s name alone wasn’t enough to make me go, they also had some lovely promotional postcards – you know the free ones, which are occasionally well designed but so often hideous? Even if they’re free, why would I pick up something hideous? The NGV understands – they offer a little pop-out paper doll with dresses from the exhibition. This headless fashionista now adorns my desk at work.

Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night

8 February – 24 August 2008
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square

29 February – 31 August 2008
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road

If you want a preview (no! Just go! It’s free!) or can’t make it to Melbs, there’s a little slideshow thing here.

A happy (and actually very colourful) person called Gala went to the exhibition’s opening night, and wrote about it here.

:: Kate ::


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