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Hunters & Collections: Wardrobes of the International Fashion and Textile Collection

Start Date 22 October 2004
End Date 31 July 2005
Venue NGV International, National Gallery of Victoria
Location Melbourne, Australia
Curator Paola Di Trocchio
Exhibition display of dress
Exhibition display of dress

Personal wardrobes of clothes from designers’ seasonal ranges have become an important part of the National Gallery of Victoria’s permanent collection. After being kept in private homes for some years, they have been transferred to the Gallery’s climate-controlled storerooms.

Hunters & Collections presents the personal fashion collections of four Australians. Like hunters in search of the perfect prize, the four have captured clothing treasures created by their favourite designers. Mrs Mavis Powell filled three wardrobes over a period of forty years with her Chanel clothing, while two art collectors, Sandra Velik and Gabrielle Pizzi, wore and collected Yves Saint Laurent garments for many years. Collector Neil Taylor’s dedication to the early work of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren was so great that he had their World’s End label tattooed onto his back.

The act of selecting and then wearing a particular designer’s clothes is a relationship, which reinforces the identity of both designer and client. Hunters & Collections pays tribute to this relationship and to the foresight of collectors such as Mrs Mavis Powell, Neil Taylor, Gabrielle Pizzi and Sandra Velik. Their understanding and profound appreciation of the work of their favourite designers, Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, has left us with a personal interpretation of important moments in the history of fashion.

Photos courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne