Arts / Culture

Your first look at NGV’s summer exhibition, ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’, through the eyes of Margaret Qualley

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto

The name Gabrielle Chanel is rarely lost on most people. If you aren't so familiar with the person behind the name, you would definitely know her work. Considered to be one of the most influential designers of the twentieth century, Gabrielle Chanel introduced a language of modernity into fashion that still resonates today; redefining women’s wardrobes to promote comfort, function and elegance. Given her status; you would be forgiven for thinking that her work would have found a home in many Australian museums over the years. Surprisingly, however, Melbourne's NGV is about to make history; presenting the first major Australian museum showcase of her work, Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto.

The exhibition, which is being presented in collaboration with the Palais Galliera, is the first major showcase exclusively focusing on the significant contribution the designer made to twentieth-century fashion culture. Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto is set to be NGV's summer blockbuster; opening its doors on December 4, 2o21.

The exhibition first premiered in Paris last year, and its placement here in Australia marks its international debut. The exhibition will consist of designs drawn from the rich holdings of the Palais Galli era and the Patrimoine de CHANEL in Paris, complemented by important loans from major public museums and private collections. In anticipation of the exhibition which opens next month, House ambassador Margaret Qualley is giving us our first look at the remarkable pieces we can expect to see.

Experience a taste of the exhibition below, as Qualley walks through the exhibition for the very first time in Paris last year.

In addition to the remarkable pieces that will be flown in, Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto will also include existing pieces from the NGV Collection. Pieces of note include a white lace evening dress from spring-summer 1933 and spectacular shirred red silk velvet and marabou-lined Evening cape, c. 1924–26. In total, the exhibition will feature more than 100 garments that trace her remarkable career; alongside the brand's fragrances, jewellery and innovations in accessory design.

Speaking on the upcoming showcase, Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, shared; "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."

The exhibition opening will coincide with the NGV Gala, on Saturday December 4, 2021, with tickets available to purchase now.

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Image credit:

Gabrielle Chanel, c. 1930s, photograph byAndré Kertész.Médiathèque del’architecture et du patrimoine.Photo©Ministèrede la Culture–Médiathèque del’architecture et du patrimoine, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais /André Kertész.Courtesy ofthe National Gallery of Victoria