Makers of Melbourne

Welcome to Makers Of Melbourne – the ‘go to’ guide for our technically integrated age.

Makers Of Melbourne has been created to consume and assimilate Melbourne culture. We're male focussed, but not male specific, sorting through the dross to weed out the creative stars, standout events and stylish folk that make this city unique. 

MOM aims to embrace all facets of what makes this city a creative hub. Our aim is to inform without condescending – to keep you abreast of what’s going on without regurgitating Press Releases & to seek out this city’s sub cultures to give our readers the inside scoop on what’s REALLY happening with the people who make Melbourne Melbourne.

Filtering by Tag: NGV

The Event: NGV presents, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture

While the traditional gift given for a seventieth anniversary is platinum, the prestigious couture house of Dior has instead decided to celebrate this landmark birthday with an Australian exhibition. Exclusive to Melbourne, this stunning fashion display is a true collaboration between the National Gallery of Victoria and the House of Dior. More than two years in the making, the NGV has on display over 140 garments designed by Christian Dior Couture between 1947 and 2017. The collection includes toiles, accessories, and illustrations, giving visitors a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one of the world’s best-known fashion labels.   

Exhibited over a number of grand, sweeping rooms, each part of the exhibition explores the story of the fashion house through a series of themes, all working in conjunction to celebrate the life of Christian Dior. And rightly so, without the French designer’s legendary 1947 New Look collection, there would be none of the exaggerated shoulders, cinched in waists and accentuated hips that laid the foundations for the house.

‘December Evening’ (Soiree de December) 1955 by Christian Dior

‘December Evening’ (Soiree de December) 1955 by Christian Dior

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While a selection of Dior’s original designs takes pride of place in the first room of the display, the NGV has taken great effort to feature works by the six other designers who have helped to shape the brand’s reputation: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The exhibition narrates the rich history of the fashion house, including Christian Dior’s early influences and his love of floral inspired silhouettes. Since his mysterious death in 1957, Dior’s subsequent designers have continued to push fashion boundaries, infusing these familiar shapes with opulent fabrications and rich colour palettes.

The house of Dior has long held a unique and longstanding affinity with Australia. As if to explain why we have been chosen to host this exclusive collection, on display are seating charts from the historic Spring 1948 fashion parade held at David Jones, Sydney.  The first complete Dior collection outside of Paris, models in the parade wore wore fifty original creations by Christian Dior.

‘Banco’ Evening Dress 1948 by Christian Dior

‘Banco’ Evening Dress 1948 by Christian Dior

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Hat by milliner Stephen Jones AW 2007

Hat by milliner Stephen Jones AW 2007

'Look 54' (dress) SS 2015 by Raf Simmons. 

'Look 54' (dress) SS 2015 by Raf Simmons. 

'Climene' (long evening dress) AW 59-60 by Yves Saint Laurent. 

'Climene' (long evening dress) AW 59-60 by Yves Saint Laurent. 

Marc Bohan designs  - Dior head designer 1960-1989

Marc Bohan designs  - Dior head designer 1960-1989

John Galliano designs  - Dior head designer 1996-2011

John Galliano designs  - Dior head designer 1996-2011

John Galliano designs  - Dior head designer 1996-2011

John Galliano designs  - Dior head designer 1996-2011

'Baroque Garden' (Jardin Baroque)  SS 2017 by Maria Grazia Chiuri

'Baroque Garden' (Jardin Baroque)  SS 2017 by Maria Grazia Chiuri

'Village Party (Fete au Village)  SS 1955 by Christian Dior

'Village Party (Fete au Village)  SS 1955 by Christian Dior

The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture is on display at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia from now until 7 November 2017.

 

Images courtesy of  Kirsty Umback

The Event: Andy Warhol | Ai WeiWei launches at the NGV

 

Ai Weiwei describes Andy Warhol as the "perfume" of the New York art scene in the late 20th century. Even when he wasn't present, Warhol's persona lingered heavily in the air, influencing everyone around him. 

It's a poetic sentiment from the Chinese born artist who never had the opportunity to meet Warhol, instead only briefly spotting him across a room somewhere in New York in the early 1980s. 

On display now and until the 24th of April at the National Gallery of Victoria, Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei features over three hundred artworks (including five pieces commissioned specifically for the exhibition). Surprisingly it's the first time that Warhol and Weiwei have been showcased side by side, illustrating the striking similarities between the two modern artists.

   Forever Bicycle (Ai Weiwei) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

 

Forever Bicycle (Ai Weiwei) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

This stunning exhibition has been curated to create an open dialog between the two men, Pittsburg native Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei, one of China's most controversial citizens.  

In 2011 the editors of ArtReview dubbed Weiwei "the most powerful artist in the world". Although his work has reached world wide status, Weiwei is arguably better known as a living symbol of the struggle for human rights after being held as a political prisoner by the Chinese government - to this day he cannot travel without permission from Chinese authorities. 

Like Warhol, Weiwei's artistic output has merged with his personality, elevating both men to celebrity status -  using a combination of sculpture, film, photography, painting and drawing to express often politically charged opinions.    

 

   Letgo Room (Ai Weiwei) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback   

 

Letgo Room (Ai Weiwei) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

 

The exhibition features some of Andy Warhol's most famous works, including screen prints of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Mao Zedong, as well as original copies of Interview Magazine (founded in 1969) and a recreation of his famous New York studio, known simply as 'The Factory'. 

Also showcased is Ai Weiwei's 'Letgo Room', the controversial display created out of lego donated by art patrons from around the world after Lego refused to supply their patented bricks for the project. Built specifically for the NGV, the 'Letgo Room'  features plastic portraits of 20 Australian activists including Rosie Batty and Julian Assange, a thoughtful tribute to the power of the freedom of speech.

   Screen prints of Mao Zedong (Andy Warhol) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

 

Screen prints of Mao Zedong (Andy Warhol) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

The Event: Mambo, 30 years of shelf-indulgence at the Ian Potter Centre

One of Australia’s most irreverent and outspoken brands - Mambo - has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. With its idiosyncratic Australian sense of humour and perverse national pride, Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence celebrates this iconic clothing label in a retrospective exhibition featuring the largest collection of Mambo works ever assembled at NGV Australia from 6th December 2014 to 22nd February 2015, and a milestone publication of the same name.

Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence presents all the ground-breaking ideas, subversive politics and off-the-wall larrikinism that have made it one of Australia's most memorable brands. The exhibition includes original artworks, never-before-seen developmental work and a retrospective of the most-loved pieces of apparel produced during its controversial history, including its iconic graphic T-shirts.

Mambo: 30 Years of Shelf-Indulgence artwork by Reg Mombassa

Mambo: 30 Years of Shelf-Indulgence artwork by Reg Mombassa

From artist Richard Allan’s infamous dog print to Reg Mombassa’s iconic ‘Australian Jesus’ Hawaiian shirt, Mambo tackled racism, jingoism and commercialism – and even poked fun at the very subculture they were supposedly targeting with their clothing and accessories. 

 Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence presents the ideas and idiosyncrasies that have come to characterise this unconventional brand,” says NGV Director Tony Ellwood. “It looks at some of the many artists who have made Mambo a national household name: from the legendary Reg Mombassa, with his cheeky depictions of an Aussie Messiah, to Maria Kozic’s strangely haunting Goddesses and Richard Allen’s enduring canine – the famous farting dog – which has formed the Mambo logo for more than twenty years."

Ellwood: “The exhibition acknowledges the singular place Mambo holds in this country as a purveyor of fashion, philosophy, art and design.”

Established in 1984 by founder Dare Jennings, Mambo built its foundations on an irreverent combination of art, humour, music and surf. Pitched squarely at the average Australian, under the art direction of Wayne Golding, the label is credited with introducing art and humour to the previously logo-driven and humour-challenged surf wear industry.

Mambo Etymology artwork by Reg Mombassa

Mambo Etymology artwork by Reg Mombassa

Self-described as the ‘bastard children of surf culture’, Mambo gave rise to one of the most recognisable, authentic, vernacular, politically incorrect yet intensely political brands to rise out of the excesses of 1980s Australia. Mambo’s social commentary and political astuteness is embodied by every one of the 250 artists that have worked for the label over the past three decades.

The brand’s artistic reputation and voice was solidified in 1993, when Mambo was invited by the Art Gallery of New South Wales to exhibit alongside an international collection of surrealist art in the show, Surrealism by Night.  In 2000, the label reached new international heights when it was selected to design the Australian athletes’ uniforms for the Sydney Olympic Games.

Guest curated by Eddie Zammit in collaboration with Mambo’s original art director, Wayne Golding, and current owner Angus Kingsmill, the exhibition and publication showcase some of the finest elements of Mambo’s creative and very distinctive identity. Zammit is also the publisher of T-world magazine, the world’s only T-shirt journal documenting graphics from the past and present.

Zammit: “Here’s a homegrown brand that cares about art. When it comes to Australian brands, no one comes close to the creative energy of Mambo. The exhibition will showcase the enormous 30 year contribution of this icon.”

Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square in the NGV Studio from 6 Dec 2014 – 22 Feb 2015.

Entry is free.

The Event: Exhibition opening of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

This week, Jean Paul Gaultier’s childhood teddy arrived in Melbourne. The fashion designer’s first muse is one of the most touching and personal displays in the blockbusting exhibition ‘Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’, which opened at the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday.

The show’s curator, Thierry-Maxime Loriot from Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts, hosted the media preview for the exhibition on Thursday morning and Makers of Melbourne were invited along to listen to Jean Paul talk about his career and inspirations, before getting a sneak peak at the multi faceted fashion retrospective.

 

As an only child raised in suburban Paris, Gaultier asked his parents for a doll, but feeling as though Barbie was inappropriate for a boy in the 1950s, his mother and father instead gave him the soft animal he called “Nana.” 

Now tucked away safely in a glass display case, the ursine toy has been noticeably poked, prodded and coloured in. Her most obvious improvements, a customized cone bra, formed from paper and most certainly the prototype for one of Jean Paul’s most iconic creations, Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition tour cone bra and corset, which was lovingly designed as a playful wink to his grandmother’s lingerie collection.

 

Once labeled the ‘enfant terrible’ of French fashion, it’s this witty irreverence that has become the designer’s trademark. Madonna’s corset – which sold for $52,000 in 2012 – also features in this stunning exhibition, along with pieces designed for Naomi Campbell, Beyonce, Kate Moss and one of Gaultier’s more recent muses, Melbourne born transgender supermodel Andreja Pejic, who made a surprise appearance on stage at the media preview.

Finding beauty in human diversity, Gaultier has championed the use of models of all ages, body types, ethnicity and gender on his catwalk throughout his career. “I was always shy, I always noticed difference. I always wanted to show that there’s more than one type of beauty.”

Thierry-Maxime Loriot: “There is a very strong social message in the work of Jean Paul. It was important for me to stage this exhibition because he really brought non-models onto the catwalk. It was always important for him to show different types of beauty, to show people different body shapes, different colours, different genders.”

 

Visitors have a rare opportunity to admire both Gaultier’s prêt a porter and couture work spanning his 38 year career, including a selection from his most recent (and final) ready to wear collection, staged in Paris just last month.

Gaultier: “You know, I am 62 years old. So, I am a dinosaur. I started working in couture at the age of 18 with Pierre Cardin, I have seen that work and a world that doesn’t exist anymore - The couture way. I have been in this business for 38 years and things have changed, now there is so much marketing, and when I think about it, I don’t have the freedom that I always had, so I think it’s better to quit ready to wear and to concentrate on couture, where I still have that sense of freedom.”

The Melbourne leg of Gaultier’s exhibition has been expanded from its previous international incarnations to include pieces from a crop of home grown muses – Oscar gowns for Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett and tour costumes for Kylie Minogue sit alongside design sketches, iconic fashion images and Gaultier designed movie costumes from films including ‘The 5th Element’.

 Gaultier: “It [the exhibition] was a great opportunity for me to present my work, what I am doing. I must say that I love it, almost as much as I loved to create it. At the time that the team came to me and asked to make an exhibition, for me it was not good, it was like something for the dead people, like when I was little I would go to the museum and the clothes that I was seeing were from the time of Queen Victoria. But now I say, OK if this is my exhibition then I will happily be dead.”

The Event: NGV Announce The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

He has dressed some of Australia’s most famous women in some of the fashion world’s most outrageous looks and now the designs of Jean-Paul Gaultier are coming to Melbourne in an elaborate showcase of his work on exhibit at the NGV from October: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

The exhibit will feature more than 140 of his creations, including never before seen costumes worn by Madonna and Beyonce alongside pieces lent by Kylie Minogue for viewing only by the Melbourne audience.

On the announcement of the exhibition, Makers of Melbourne spoke to curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot.

Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot at the NGV media launch 

Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot at the NGV media launch 

The exhibition has so far shown in Montreal, Spain and New York, and will be visiting Paris after it comes to Melbourne – what brought his work here to Melbourne?

It’s really the fact that the museum is fantastic and the programming and the team at the NGV is very avant-garde. The space is amazing and it’s nice to share with a country that has the same open vision.

Tell us a little about the scale of the exhibition.

It’s been five years. I started work on the archives in 2009 and the exhibition itself has been travelling since 2011. To bring it together took two years of going through his archives which was very exciting but also terrifying – we had to choose from thousands of pieces and pick only the 140 or so that are on exhibit. But it’s been a unique opportunity: you would see his dresses in magazines and movies and then to see them in front of you… It’s like viewing a Picasso painting in a book and then experiencing it as you would in a gallery space.

'Metamorphose Gown' worn by Cate Blanchett to the Golden Globes 2005

'Metamorphose Gown' worn by Cate Blanchett to the Golden Globes 2005

Can you pick out any special pieces that speak to you?

There are so many dresses and pieces that Gaultier created that are so fantastic when you look at the craftsmanship – incredible couture pieces that are beaded and embroidered – but there were certain pieces I was dying to exhibit that we have held on to until we came to Melbourne: the dress Nicole Kidman collected her Oscar in for The Hours – the same with Kylie Minogue’s costumes. I knew we were coming to Australia so I kept them as a surprise.

What was Jean Paul like to work with?

In one word? Fantastic. What you see in pictures – that he is always smiling and happy and full of ideas – is really what he is. What you see is what you get: there are no surprises with him. He is a fantastic storyteller with so many incredible tales to tell of the relationships and inspiration behind each of his collaborations

Gaultier dresses on loan from Kylie Minogue

Gaultier dresses on loan from Kylie Minogue

Will there ever be another Gaultier exhibition such as this?

I think it is something that can only be done once because even at first he never wanted to do an exhibition of his work. The form he works with is the human body so he prefers to see his work on real humans rather than mannequins. He believes normally exhibitions in museums are for dead artists, not living designers. Certainly I consider Jean Paul an artist, even if he considers himself an artisan.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk will be on show at the NGV from October 17, 2014, until February 8, 2015.


Jean Paul Gaultier 2014© 2014, Stéphane Sednaoui. All rights reserved

Jean Paul Gaultier 2014© 2014, Stéphane Sednaoui. All rights reserved

Andrej Pejić 2013 - Confession of a Child of the Century collection Jean Paul Gaultier Haute couture, autumn- winter 2012-13 © Alix Malka

Andrej Pejić 2013 - Confession of a Child of the Century collection Jean Paul Gaultier Haute couture, autumn- winter 2012-13 © Alix Malka

 

Interview: Roger Leong

“Every generation wants to define itself against the previous generation. Men of my age have been wearing jeans for decades and the younger generation wanted to find themselves against that. So they won’t wear jeans – they will dress up. And that’s really where we are seeing the popularity of the Neo-Dandy movement.”

-       Roger Leong

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A conversation with Roger Leong, NGV Curator Fashion and Textiles, offers a serious fashion education. Forget paying thousands for trend forecasting: the man who has spent his professional life studying fashion in an historical context knows that, when it comes to trends, it all stems from where it’s been before.

Roger: “It’s a really difficult thing to say why certain fashion’s become popular, but it is certain that fashions return – and that the cycle of men’s fashion is much longer than women’s fashion. But of all the fashion that has come and gone, my favourite era is definitely the first half of the 19th Century.”

Roger describes it as “the Pride and Prejudice period”, when men moved from wearing opulent embroidered silks draped in less sophisticated cuts (“often in fabrics more elaborate than that which was worn by the women”) to embracing the idea that clothing should enhance the male form through pattern cutting and manipulation of cloth.

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Roger: “Tailoring for men walked hand-in-hand with a growing interest in athleticism – an interest in disciplining the body and creating a well-built, muscular frame, an idea that hadn’t existed before.”

He points to George Bryan “Beau” Brummell as the movement’s key personality, a man who modelled himself on Greek statues, who focussed on the fit of his clothes from the exact proportion of a pocket to the width of a lapel.

For Roger, this is where the current landscape of men’s fashion finds its most direct connection.

Roger: “That early era of tailoring really was about the refinement of the craft and I don’t think really fundamentally that things have changed much since then.”

Roger Leong, Curator – NGV International Fashion and Textiles.

 

 

David decade old Borrelli's

It's been a busy week for Shoemakers with all sorts of great things going on in Melbourne.  Ground zero has been the National Gallery and Hamer Hall with the launch of Monet at the NGV.  We've managed to stop some fantastically dapper Melbourne men and David just about summed up the vibrant Melbourne mood in his snappy blue double-breaster and faithful Borelli's.