The works selected for this exhibition perfectly illustrate the style of each of the mythical couturiers behind this history of luxury and sumptuousness. Spectacular designs by Cristobal Balenciaga, Gabrielle Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent follow one another in this chronological review, revealing the universality of fashion viewed as a history of art and beauty.
Pamela Golbin

Over ninety emblematic haute couture garments created by some of the world’s leading fashion designer’s debut on North Terrace in this major exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Exclusive to Adelaide, Fashion Icons: Masterpieces from the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, draws on the most comprehensive collection of French fashion in the world.

Fashion Icons is an unparalleled opportunity to view over ninety legendary couture garments spanning seventy years. The exhibition examines the evolution of fashion styles through the decades to reveal modern fashion’s incredible and fascinating journey.

Stroll through time in Parisian style, beginning in 1947 when the couturier Christian Dior relaunched haute couture with his New Look. See fashion design blossom, with the lavish splendour of the 1950s, the futurist dynamism of the 1960s, the inspired emancipation of the 1970s, the unbridled excess of the 1980s, and the pure minimalism of the 1990s – all of which inform today’s composite portrait of the twenty-first century.

Internationally renowned, Pamela Golbin has curated ground-breaking exhibitions worldwide including Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs, Madeleine Vionnet: Puriste de la mode and Valentino Retrospective: Past/Present/Future.

Pamela Golbin is joined on this project by acclaimed French designer and architect Christian Biecher, who has realised the design of the exhibition.

Fashion Icons has been organised by Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris in association with Art Exhibitions Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts) is part of Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France. Founded in Paris over 150 years ago by collectors, industrialists and craftsmen concerned with the quality and design of everyday objects, Les Arts Décoratifs is housed in the Marsan Wing of the Louvre on the rue de Rivoli.

One of the largest collections of decorative art in the world, with over 1,500m 2 of fashion and textile displays, the museum provides a unique panorama of the history of furniture, glass, ceramics, precious metalwork, jewellery, textiles, fashion, graphic design and advertising from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Recognized as housing one of the most important fashion and textile departments in the museum world, the collection of Les Arts Décoratifs reveals the history of fashion from the seventeenth century to today. Bringing together thousands of historical objects, the collection also contains works by emblematic fashion designers and artists of the twentieth century who support the museum by making considerable donations from their personal archives.