25 October 2014 - 15 February 2015

 Over ninety emblematic haute couture garments created by some of the world’s leading fashion designers 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.

'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

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.

Recognised 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.

The Most Star-Studded Catwalk In The History Of Fashion: Fashion Designers

Fashion Icons includes haute couture garments from the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. These creations, some of which have never before been shown outside France, provide new insights into contemporary fashion and offer a fascinating overview of some seventy years of fashion design.
More than sixty of the greatest fashion names are represented by famous designs, including Christian Dior’s 1947 ‘Bar suit’, the ground breaking Courrèges creations presented in 1965, the magnificent ‘Picasso’ dresses designed by Yves Saint Laurent in 1979, glamorous 1980s silhouettes by Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana, minimalist dresses by Helmut Lang and the Belgian designers of the 1990s, wild and wonderful ensembles by John Galliano from the last decade, and key designs by Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons.
Click on the decades below to discover more.
The 50s
The 60s
The 70s
The 80s
The 90s
The 2000s


Bloggers, aficionados, designers and more all have their say on fashion. Click on the fashionable topics below to learn more.

This Season Fashion Has A New Address
The True Face Of Fashion
The Toga Dress
The Picasso Dress
The Little Black Dress
The Feather Dress
The Courrèges Bomb
The Chanel Dress
The Bar Suit
The 2D Dress
One Of A Kind
In The Curator's Words 
Go Behind The Curtain
Fine Lines
Fashion The Universal Language
Fashion On Film
Fashion Forward
Fashion After Dark
Architect Of A New Generation
90s Minimalism

Media Releases

Fashion Icons announcement media kit
Fashion Icons at the Art Gallery of South Australia
Fashion Icons exhibition announcement
Fashion Icons tickets on sale & events program media release



PRESENTED BY                                                                                PRINCIPAL SPONSOR                 PRINCIPAL DONOR
FASHION Brand_SouthAust1_CMYK_Black FASHION__ArtsSA_Black_V   FASHION Mazda_SV_Mono.2   FASHION SIA-stacked_B





  FASHION AUS-masthead-black

FASHION Herald_Sun_K_1

  FASHION Adv-Masthead-(black)

   hit107_horizontal_mono    SENSIS_HorizontalLogo_CMYK-   FASHION Channel-7-Logo-MONO-EPS





FASHION 891_Adelaide_BW    FASHION Clemenger_BBDO_MONO




  AAL_MonoLogo-03 - cropped








Images left to right:
Left: Jean-Charles de Castelbajac for Ko and Co, La Joconde, long dress, ready to wear, Autumn/Winter 1983-1984, Les Arts Décoratifs, Mode et Textile collection, gifted by the National Centre for the Arts – Department of Culture and Communications, 1986
Right: Patrick Kelly, evening dress, ready to wear, Autumn/Winter 1989-1990, Les Arts Décoratifs, Mode et Textile collection, in association with Elaine et Harold Blatt, 2005.
Jean Paul Gaultier, costume made for choreographer Régine Chopinot for Le Défilé, act Manque d’air, 1985, Les Arts Décoratifs, Mode et Textile collection, with the Ballet Atlantique-Régine Chopinot, 2006.
Left: Comme des Garçons, dress, ready to wear, Autumn/Winter 2012-2013, Les Arts Décoratifs, Mode et Textile collection, purchased with the support of Louis Vuitton, 2012
Right : Valentino, evening suit, haute couture, Autumn/Winter 2007-2008, Les Arts Décoratifs, Mode et Textile collection, in association with Valentino, 2008.
Art direction/photography : Thierry Dreyfus for Eyesight Group


Grey Button Sign Up for Enews (002)

Grey Buttons Donate now (002)