Saturday, 7 May 2016

Collette Dinnigan Unlaced

Recently I made use of a few spare hours in Sydney and got along to the Collette Dinnigan retrospective at the Powerhouse. It was fabulous. But then I do like a fashion exhibition. Which is kind of strange because fashion really isn't my thing.

My favourite room, was this incredible space put together by Collette and it was mesmerising. A kaleidoscope of colour inspiration and design. Actually it was a bit like being inside a kaleidoscope. I could have stayed in there all day. I might try and get back just to spend more time in here.

There were so many fascinating glimpses into design and production. 

Even if you didn't really like the colour, like this chartreuse section, it was transfixing. So much detail, so much to absorb.

"I am inspired by colour, art, flowers, landscapes and details from vintage clothes or antique bric-a-brac. Travelling has always been a great influence too. I sketch with fabrics in mind and develop inspiration boards alongside my draping." Collette Dinnigan

There were glimpses of Paris everywhere..
Collette Dinnigan also appears to be inspired by flamingos


and bananas.

It was amazing to see the inspiration, the imagining

and then see it take final form in the next room. 

Desert Poppies tie neck top and skirt
Resort 2014 and 2012

Desert Poppies outfit 2013

One room highlighted spinning metallic disco ball dresses. Often worn on the red carpet by the rich and famous. 

The main room had 4 or 5 exhibits with many dresses on each. There are perfectly polished mirrors top and bottom so you can see the dresses from every angle.

Ballerina Belle evening dress
Autumn/Winter 2011

So much gorgeousness. This dress was designed to look like shimmering snowflakes after Colette read Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen to her daughter. 

River Snowflakes dress
Autumn/Winter 2012

Possibly my favourite frock in the whole thing:

Crystal Tulips dress
Spring/Summer 2003-2004
There was a history lesson too. Collette Dinnigan established her label with a range of luxurious handmade silk lingerie. Emerging in 1990 at the height of grunge her first catwalk show featured lingerie clad models walking between the tables at Angelina's on the Rue du Rivoli! Hard to imagine.

There is a whole room dedicated to Collette Dinnigan's signature fabric - lace. Stunning with models lit from within. She initially used antique lace, but then worked with contemporary French lacemakers to create modern and unique lace designs.

Like any fashion show the exhibition ended with a display of bridal gowns. 

The lighting made it look much more peach in my photo.
It wasn't. It's still gorgeous though.

The real colour

There's also a fabulous hands on section where you can use beautiful papers to make your own designs. It's a fabulous exhibition. If you're anywhere near Sydney before August get along to see it. Otherwise here are some great youtube highlights.

Collette Dinnigan Unlaced
Powerhouse Museum Sydney
Daily until August 28 2016 (UPDATE! Unlaced extended to 29/1/17)
Adult $15/ Concession $8/ Children Free

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Vicki said...

Sounds like a fun day! I would love to be able to see this in person!

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Beautiful display of gorgeous items! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog,

Brona said...

Wow! You did love this exhibition - do you have a strong opinion on the proposed changes and move of the Powerhouse.

Louise said...

I did love it Brona. I have no opinions (and very little knowledge) about possible moving of Powerhouse. I'm happy to go wherever.