Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion Exhibition at NGV Melbourne

Regular readers of BusinessChic may recall that I photographed NGV Assistant Curator, Fashion and Textiles, Paola di Trocchio earlier this year. Paola mentioned the Edward Steichen and Art Deco exhibition that she was working on which just opened last Friday! Featuring over 200 photos by photographer Edward Steichen and some 40 pieces from the Museum’s own collection of Art Deco fashion, you can imagine my excitement at being invited to the opening held the night before; here are my highlights:

Paola di Trocchio

NGV Melbourne Fashion curator, Paola Di Trocchio, at the launch of Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion.

ngv melbourne edward steichen art deco fashion

Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion is now on at NGV Melbourne International until March 2, 2013.

Edward Steichen  American 1879–1973, worked in France 1906–23 Dancers Leonore Hughes and Maurice Mouvet 1924 gelatin silver photograph Courtesy Condé Nast Archive  © 1924 Condé Nast Publications

Edward Steichen
American 1879–1973, worked in France 1906–23
Dancers Leonore Hughes and Maurice Mouvet 1924
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy Condé Nast Archive
© 1924 Condé Nast Publications

ARTS003628_RGB

Edward Steichen
American 1879–1973, worked in France 1906–23
Model Dorothy Smart wearing a black velvet hat by Madame Agnès 1926
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy Condé Nast Archive
© 1926 Condé Nast Publications

CN00024961

Edward Steichen
American 1879–1973, worked in France 1906–23
On George Baher’s yacht. June Cox wearing unidentified fashion; E. Vogt wearing fashion by Chanel and a hat by Reboux; Lee Miller wearing a dress by Mae and Hattie Green and a scarf by Chanel; Hanna-Lee Sherman wearing unidentified fashion 1928
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy Condé Nast Archive
© 1928 Condé Nast Publications

 Edward Steichen

The 1920s saw the development of the ‘modern woman’; a chic, sophisticated woman who engaged in the new dance styles and all kinds of outdoor activities, a woman who worked, voted and lived a life outside of the home. – NGV Melbourne media material

Edward Steichen was chief photographer for the highly influential fashion magazines published by Conde Nast, Vanity Fair and Vogue creating beautiful images that captured the glamour of the era. While I unfortunately missed out on a tour led by current Vogue editor, Edwina McCann, and Paola Di Trocchio – it was not difficult to gain an appreciation for Steichen’s photography. I was drawn to his portraits; taking in his composition and  representation of his subjects which included society ladies as well as famous actors such as Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. However it was one candid-seeming portrait of Mexican-American actress Amida that captured my attention, showing her mid-dance – she looks positively radiant as if the joy of her work is lighting up her whole being. As a budding photographer, it inspires me to want to try and capture that joy in my subjects, as a worker it makes me want to find that kind of work for myself!

Business Chic Art Deco Vogue covers

Vintage Vogue Magazines.

Business Chic Art Deco gown

Just one of the 40 art deco fashion pieces on display at NGV Melbourne for this summer exhibition.

Business Chic Art Deco Gown detail

Intricate beadwork.

 

Art Deco Fashion

I took lots of photos of the fashion component of the exhibition but have decided not to post all of them; you simply must get to this exhibition in person to take in the exhibits for yourself! For example the ” tippet and muff made out of acid green and black monkey fur” Paola mentioned has all of the wow factor that Lady Gaga could hope for! The thing that struck me the most about the fashion component is how vibrant and colourful many of the pieces are; reminding me that this is probably because I’ve only ever seen black & white photos of the era. Which is funny considering that this is when Chanel created the Little Black Dress- but in amongst all of the colourful garments, it actually becomes clear why this was so revolutionary- yes there was a time where wearing black was to be brave and different! I hope that the above image gives you an idea of the glamour of the period and the intricacy of the work involved; both by the original designers as well as by the textiles team at NGV who painstakingly repaired these delicate garments. In Gallery magazine (which I believe that you can pick up from the NGV gift shop), there’s a wonderful piece describing some of the work that Bronwyn Cosgrove, Senior Conservator, Textiles – oversaw to repair and prepare these pieces for public display.

Business Chic Angie Rehe

Fashion illustrator, Angie Rehe, of Ms Patsy Fox and The Drawing Salon.

Angie Rehe art deco beach pyjamas

Angie Rehe Art Deco Sketch

Angie’s study of the “Beach Pyjama”, part of the Leisure component of the Art Deco fashion exhibition now on at the NGV until March 2, 2014.

Angie Rehe

It was so wonderful to find fashion illustrator Angie Rehe making studies of some of the fashion pieces – how chic are these “beach pyjamas”? Seriously, I’d love a pair myself! Angie was responsible for the illustrations throughout my book, The Little Black Dress Project Book. I am so excited to hear that on top of running her very popular fashion illustration classes, The Drawing Salon, Angie is now also illustrating for Elle Australia and Harpers Bazaar Singapore – ooh la la!

cheryl lin and angie rehe ngv melbourne

Me with Angie Rehe at the launch of Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion exhibition, now on at NGV Melbourne International.

angie rehe portrait of cheryl lin

Amazing Angie Rehe sketched this portrait of me while I was on my phone, instagrammiing!

NGV Edward Steichen Art Deco Fashion Exhibition launch

Upcoming events

There are a number of upcoming events that support the Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion exhibition. Hear about the conservation techniques and how these works came into the NGV Melbourne collection from Bronwyn Cosgrove, Senior Conservator, Textiles and Paola Di Trocchio, exhibition co-curator and Assistant Curator, Fashion and Textiles or take an Art Deco tour of Melbourne – the iconic Manchester Unity Building which is now owned by Smile Solutions are also offering private tours led by Dr Kia Pajouhesh, founder and managing director of Smile Solutions.  Click here for a list of all upcoming events related to the Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion exhibition.   If you are interested in portrait photography and glamorous fashion from the era where women started their public lives, outside of the home, then you simply must make sure that you visit the Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion exhibition – on now until March 2, 2014. Many thanks to NGV Melbourne for having me as their guest!

Facebook Like Box provided by technology news