Big news for Melbourne fashion lovers today, as the National Gallery of Victoria announces the acquisition of one of the world’s most sought-after fashion collections – the most significant French haute couture ever to be acquired by an Australian museum -with works by Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Vionnet and Jeanne Lanvin, as well as an outstanding fashion research archive including rare workbooks and photography by Yves Saint Laurent and Madame Grès.
Developed over several decades by Parisian collector and former Givenchy couturier Dominique Sirop, and donated to the NGV by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty, the $1.4 million Dominique Sirop Collection comprises of 130 pieces and represents more than thirty different fashion designers from 1800-2003. It includes a staggering 11 gowns by Christian Dior including a highly-prized couture dress from his first ever collection, as well as 12 exquisite works designed by Coco Chanel, including rare 1920s-era gowns, draped Grecian-style sheaths by Madame Grès and stunning examples from the father of haute couture Charles Frederick Worth.
The fashion research archive donated as part of the acquisition includes original fashion designs and couture house workbooks by Jeanne Lanvin, fashion photography from Paris fashion houses including Balenciaga and rare fashion magazines including coveted early issues of Gazette du Bon Ton, Vogue and L’official.
The research archive also will form the basis of a new specialist fashion research library created for the NGV – the Campbell-Pretty Fashion Research Collection – supported by Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty in memory of Mr Harold Campbell-Pretty.
More information can be found at ngv.vic.gov.au