Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion has been the first NGV exhibition to engage costume designers for its display. Costume designers Marion Boyce and Gareth Blaha created custom headpieces for each of the 32 mannequins in the exhibition as well as selected accessories to complement some of the outfits.
Boyce and Blaha were commissioned to create headpieces and accessories for the outfits as the NGV does not own those that were original to the garment. In fact, it is incredibly rare for an outfit to be acquired in its entirety from the Art Deco period, and often it is only part of the outfit that survives. Displaying a gorgeous Art Deco dress or jacket would have been stunning, but further accessorising the garments has given a greater sense of the overall silhouette and dress style of the day.
Marion Boyce has in-depth knowledge of the 1920s, evident through the remarkable costumes in the ABC’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. As costume coordinator, Production Resources, ABC, Gareth Blaha works alongside her, and together they worked on the creative brief for Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion.
In preparation for this task, Boyce and Blaha visited the NGV several times to view the garments that would be on display. They will discuss their unique interpretation of the Art Deco period in this exhibition in conversation at the NGV on Saturday 1 March at 2pm. Please join us.