ALIX, Paris, (couture house)1934–42Madame GRÈS (designer)French 1903–93Evening dresses, 1939 spring-summer–c.1980,

Twentieth century fashion was defined by a handful of influential designers and many of these are showcased in the Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift opening at the NGV International on from the 1 March - 14 July 2019.

Featuring a rare collection of Gabrielle Chanel’s little black dresses, famously draped haute couture gowns of Madame Grès and Yves Saint Laurent’s ground-breaking women’s tuxedo Le Smoking, suit from 1967, The Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift has more than 150 garments from Parisien haute couture and international fashion houses have been generously gifted to the NGV by leading philanthropist, Krystyna Campbell-Pretty.

Showing such iconic items like Alexander McQueen’s iconoclastic tartan gown worn by Sarah Jessica Parker to New York’s Met Gala in 2006 and a dress from Dior’s debut 1947 spring–summer collection, the exhibition traces key moments in fashion history and illuminates some of the most ground-breaking designs from the nineteenth century to today – most of which have never before been exhibited in Australia.

The show offers visitors a fascinating insight into the minds of history’s greatest fashion designers, with original sketches and workbooks by designers including Jeanne Lanvin and Madame Grès, embroidered samples from Lesage, fashion photography from fashion houses like Givenchy, and rare early fashion magazines Vogue, Les modes and Gazette du bon ton.

The works have been generously purchased by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty for the NGV Collection in memory of her late husband, Harold Campbell-Pretty. Since 2015, Krystyna has gifted more than 250 garments, working closely with the NGV to strengthen its holdings in key areas. These materials form the basis of a new specialist fashion research library created for the NGV: the Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Research Collection.

‘Krystyna Campbell-Pretty’s support of the Fashion and Textiles Collection is unprecedented for the department and continues to acquire major acquisitions for the collection, including both iconic works and garments by previously unrepresented designers. We are proud to present a selection of collection highlights through this exhibition and, with them, an arresting view of the world’s best fashion and haute couture.’

Find more details on the one of a kind Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift on NGGV's page here!


Dates: 1 March – 14 July 2019

Location: NGV International (180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia)

Cost: Free

Times: 10am – 5pm daily

NGV Website