Ballet & Fashion was a joint project between The Australian Ballet and the National Gallery of Victoria showcasing collaborations between couture fashion designers and international dance companies over the past three decades. Opening the week of The Australian Ballet’s 50th birthday (2012), the exhibition celebrated form, movement, colour, texture and design for dance
and stage.

Costumes L&R: Christian Lacroix Costume for the Lead Can Can Dancer 1988 Gâité Parisienne, American Ballet Theatre Collection, New York @ NGV International 

Costumes below by Akira Isogawa (Romeo & Juliet for The Australian Ballet) 2011. Sketches Left: YSL Les Forains 
Right: Toni Maticevski Aviary: A Suite for the Bird.

Viktor & Rolf: this tiered Viktor & Rolf costume for the Netherlands Dance Theatre performance of 2 Lips and Dancers and Space was programed to light up in the exhibition space as it did on stage. 

The exhibition design was inspired by the scenography of Robert Wilson who created some sets for the original ballet performances. This evolved into 2D silhouettes, a bold 1980s colour palette and dramatic lighting. The 2012 exhibition featured designs by Akira Isogawa, Collette Dinnigan, Easton Pearson, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Christian Lacroix, Toni Maticevski, Richard Nylon, Ralph Rucci, Valentino and Viktor&Rolf for The Australian Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Phillip Adams BalletLab, the English National Ballet, Merce Cunningham, Nederlands Dans Theater, Sydney Dance Company and the Vienna State Ballet.

Exhibition Design: 
Johanna B Kelly 

Curator: Roger Leong

Find the exhibition 'making of'  video here.

Photo credits: National Gallery of Victoria & Johanna B Kelly.

To read more about this exhibition design check out the NGV Design Blog.

Using Format