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August 4, 2017
Culture

Art Gallery of South Australia announces new Fashion Fund

The Art Gallery of South Australia's new Fashion Fund will breathe fresh life into a fashion collection that has lain dormant for years.

  • Words: Sharmonie Cockayne
  • Pictures: Jack Fenby

Off the back of the success of the Adelaide Fashion Festival and the Fashion Icons exhibition in 2014, the Art Gallery of South Australia are investing in fashion with a new Fashion Fund.

Remarks

The Paolo Sebastian exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia will launch during this year’s Adelaide Fashion Festival, which will run from October 11-15.

Curated by Rebecca Evans, the gallery’s Curator of Decorative Arts, and spearheaded by gallery Director, Nick Mitzevich, the Fund aims to acquire the most exciting and innovative examples of international and Australian fashion.

The gallery will use the fund to gradually build their pre-existing historic fashion collection, which already includes some 600 items, many of which date back to the 1800s.

“It’s not till recent times that we focused on reviewing the collection and started to build on it, and with Rebecca’s arrival and her expertise, it means that we can bring the fashion collection back on view and can build on it. The fashion fund is the instrument for us to start building the collection again and start acquiring new work,” says Mitzevich.

“We have the goal of adding one international work and one from Australia each year into the collection, so we build it steadily but with great excellence,” Mitzevich says.

The gallery purchased its first contemporary fashion pieces in 2016 with the acquirement of garments by Australian labels, Romance Was Born and DI$COUNT UNIVER$E, the latter of which is a label headed by two Australia designers, with one – Cami James – an Adelaide local.

Mitzevich explains that fashion, like design, has become more integrated into creative pursuit. “Particularly haute couture, or things made as a one-off, are as significant as a painting or a sculpture,” he says.

The gallery will kick start the Fund in October this year by hosting a special exhibition in partnership with the Adelaide Fashion Festival on South Australian couture house, Paolo Sebastian.

Behind the scenes of Paolo Sebastian’s show at AFF 2016.

Creative Director of the Adelaide Fashion Festival, Chris Kontos, says “the Art Gallery’s new Fashion Fund shows great leadership and a real commitment to recognising fashion as a key part of our creative story. Fashion, like art, is timeless, and Director Nick Mitzevich and the team are driving that idea.”

Mitzevich, says that, following the exhibition, the Gallery is in a position to acquire a Paolo Sebastian gown. “That could be a wonderful outcome for us. He’s one of the designers we’d really like to have in the collection, and, this year, I’d love the Australian designer to be Paolo Sebastian.”

The exhibition, which will take place in the Melrose Wing, will commemorate Paolo Sebastian’s 10th anniversary, and will be free to the public during the Adelaide Fashion Festival.

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