Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Retrospect of Elegance

Yesterday I finally had the chance to go to GOMA's latest exhibition "Valentino Retrospect: Past, Present, Future" in which gowns from 1959 to the most recent collection of 2010 are exhibited for the Brisbane public. This is the first time all these dresses have been displayed together, and the first time an international designer has put together a showcase of this capacity. Valentino and his disciples travelled around the work in search for the dresses he had own stitched by hand; from celebrities, vintage boutiques and palaces.

It is evident around the GOMA studio surrounded by these dresses stretching fashions of the past five decades that there are promote shapes, colours, as well as one season fads. Valentino experimented with Mink fur, Feathers, Bold Zebra print and at one point made a skirt and shirt combination that left the midrift showing. This dress was from a collection of 1966, so you can imagine the uproar it must have caused at the time. Valentino, as you can see from the exhibit, loved red, black, white, capes and flowers. He uses these frequently, throughout all decades.

The dresses are all very elegant, and although it seems at first as though the exhibit showcases dresses and only dresses there are some ensembles that include skirt and shirt combinations, and others that include pants! The dress below was my favourite piece at the exhibit. It is so long, flowing and elegant and the most beautiful blue! At the end of the exhibition there is a gift shop, which many harbours books at the man behind the dresses, as well as the women who wore them; think Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn and Cate Blanchett.

Showing until 14 November
Fairfax Galley, GOMA, Cultural Centre
Adult - $20
Concession - $16

Photos by the lovely and talented Oliver Black.