“You enter the exhibit and you’re thrown into the ’20s and you have Gabrielle Chanel’s first pieces”, Margaret Qualley says. The award-winning actress and global Chanel ambassador was one of the first people in the world to preview Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto when it premiered at the Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris in October 2020.
In partnership with Palais Galliera and support from Chanel, the exhibition will make its first international debut at the world-renowned National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. From December 4, 2021 to April 25, 2022, the gallery will celebrate the French couturière’s early works. It is the first exhibition in Australia to focus exclusively on the significant contribution to twentieth-century fashion culture by the designer.
The exhibition will feature over 100 looks as well as jewellery, accessories, cosmetics and perfumes. Key designs are drawn from archives of the Palais Galliera and the Patrimoine de CHANEL, the heritage collections of the fashion house in Paris.
“There’s this shirt that is made of the same material that men’s underwear were made from, which I think is slightly provocative and at the same time though it’s a really simple, wearable shirt,” Qualley discussed of the collection. “I’m excited that they’re travelling to Melbourne so that theywill have a whole new set of admirers.”
The collection of fashion artefacts explores the characteristics of Chanel’s work (also colloquially known as “Coco”), her codes and style cues, and her legacy. Spanning nine sections, organised chronologically and then thematically.
Despite being born poor and as an illegitimate child, Coco Chanel rose to prominence in the ’20s and ’30s with elegant twill suiting and boyish silhouettes – which would become trademark long after her death in 1971. The woman navigated poverty and World War to become one of the most iconic designers across the globe.
Learn more and buy tickets to Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto at the NGV, here.