Ruby Slipper @ NGV Edward Steichen Gala

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It’s not often that I spy both vintage Chanel and a tower of glittering champagne glasses on the same day. Oh happy occasion then, at the opening gala of the latest NGV masterpiece exhibition for the Summer – the delightfully curated Edward Steichen and Art Deco, featuring an array of beautiful gowns, art deco fashion editorial and creative tableaux to please even the most hardened glossy-magazine consumer.

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What to wear to an opening gala with the finest of Melbourne’s fashionisti? A modern take on deco with an embellished turban (DIY), ‘jewelled’ jacket (Sportsgirl) and flower tapestry gown (Asos).

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Righteous vintage fashion babe Trish Hunter (and her teeny weeny lady waist) made an entrance in chinoiserie.

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Big thanks to Marianne from Esme and the Laneway for this jolly photo. Oh, it was nice to see so many familiar faces at this event.

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And here she is, looking a retro dream in this mutton-sleeved (sounds bad, looks fab) black gown. Did you know she’s on Facebook now, too? Well, she is.

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Now on to the exhibition itself. Edward Steichen was chief photographer for both Vanity Fair and Vogue from 1923-1938, presiding over an incredible revolution in women’s fashion. Steichen is credited with re-imagining fashion photography. His photographs are presented alongside over 30 vintage garments including a stunning Lanvin gown and a NGV recently acquired Chanel piece.

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A close up of the fine beading on an extravagant gown. I can imagine this dress on a fine woman with a daring piece of millinery, sipping from a martini glass and wiggling her tiny derriere to some new-wave hot jazz. I think that’s the best way to look at these dresses (I’ll be back, as the evening was a bit of a blur) – by imagining the ladies who wore them and the world they inhabited.

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Calling Miss Phryne Fisher!

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The exhibition features a wall of lyrical tableaux, helping your imagination along.

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Who are you calling a dummy?

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Editrix of Vogue Australia, Edwina McCann, officially opens this exhibition which runs all the way through to March 2014.

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Celebrations, champagne and much hob-nobbing continued into the evening under the stained glass roof of The Great Hall. Mature ladies of Melbourne, your millinery, real jewels and outstanding gowns proves that gaining years needn’t mean losing style or becoming a wallflower. Here’s to new fashion, old fashion – all fashion!

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