Art N About

Valentino,    Retrospective: Past/Present/Future is a major exhibition developed by Paris's renowned decorative arts museum, Les Arts Décoratifs. It explores the work of the celebrated Italian fashion house Valentino, known the world over for its sophisticated, timeless design and glamorous clientele.

Valentino | Evening gown (detail) | Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2003, Model 130 | Collection: Valentino Archives | Photograph: Jean Tholanc

Exclusive to Brisbane, the exhibition will feature a stunning array of haute couture designs tracing Valentino’s career from the 1959 opening of his fashion house in Rome through to the presentation of his final collection in January 2008, as well as recent designs from the house of Valentino.

It took more than three weeks to dress the mannequins and place them in position. A team from Les Arts Decoratifs flew in from Paris to do the job and were assisted by the GoMA conservation team who wore white gloves, and smocks because of the risk of damage to the delicate fabrics while the lighting is kept low to conserve their colour.

The metallic gold and silver mannequins, made to measure by Valentino, provide a luminous quality to the overall effect.

The exhibition is broken into selected themes – animalia, motifs, flowers, geometry, pleats and frills, volume and structure, white, red, line and future. The future direction of this most esteemed fashion label will be showcased through five designs by the House of Valentino's new creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli.