For the city of Melbourne, March is truly its most stylish time of year as the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival descends onto the Victorian city. Garnering the best in local designers, buyers, media and influencers, while the runway will take centre stage as the festival presents newly-released collections, it also boasts a program teeming with over 150 events. When you’re not sitting front row at GRAZIA and ICON’s Runway 7 show, we suggest heading to the National Gallery of Victoria to continue the sartorial escapades, thanks to Comme des Garçons.
Following its official opening back in November 2019, Collecting Comme has continued to mesmerise visitors of the NGV with the meticulous craftsmanship of its iconic designer, Rei Kawakubo. As Australia’s first exhibition dedicated to the Japanese designer, the survey showcases over 65 looks and explores Kawakubo’s work from the time of her first presentation in Paris in 1981.
Gifted to the Gallery by donor Takamasa Takahashi, and including loans from his personal collection, the exhibition will examine the radical concepts and design methods that have informed Kawakubo’s practice for almost five decades and 40 collections. Known for defying convention, Kawakubo has redefined fashion throughout her career, subverting garment shape and function, reframing ideas of beauty, and proposing a new relationship between the body and clothing. The showcase also includes three works from the Body Meets Dress-Dress Meets Body collection; spring–summer 1997 and became famous through the designer’s refusal to accept that the physical body was a limitation of design.
While entry to the exhibit is free, NGV speaker Wendy Hughes-Chuck will explore the new-age ideas of Comme des Garçons in an in-depth discussion dubbed ‘Conception Over Convention’ on Sunday, March 8 from 2pm – 3pm, presented as part of VAMFF. Bookings aren’t essential however joining GRAZIA and ICON’s Runway 7 show is.
Featuring collections from C/MEO Collective, Double Rainbouu, Nique, Karla Špectić, Nagnata and Ten Pieces, gain access to VAMFF’s closing party on March 14, below.