Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My visit to the Ballet Russes Exhibition in Canberra

Last weekend I visited Canberra, to see the stunning Ballet Russes costume exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. I was certainly not disappointed!

So many beautiful masterpieces in one exhibition and so very inspiring. Anyone who knows me well will know that I love over the top decadence! I love lots of colours and textures mixed into the one design, I love metallics and sequins and embroidery and lace... just thinking about it all makes me want to get back in that sewing room and sew sew sew!

I was surprised to see so much detail and work in each of the costumes- since I would have thought they would be seen from far away on a stage, and no one would see the craftsmanship.

It was hard to imagine how many people would have created each piece, and how many hours it would have taken to make it, let alone all of the restoration involved. Most of the designs are around 80 to 100 years old, so they had been badly damaged- they even had a few still to be restored pieces on display to show you the difference.

I have been considering to design a Winter Collection, inspired by a Russian- Australian theme, as this is my family culture. Now I am very excited to start it- but first I need to finish the Autumn collection!!!

Now these designs have encouraged me to explore even more mixes of colours, textures and embellishments in my designs!

You can view all of these costumes and many more on the National Gallery of Australia website.

I encourage anyone who loves design; loves colour; loves anything over-the-top, and wants to be inspired; to visit this collection. There have been some fantastic exhibitions in Australia recently, and out of the ones I have seen, I include the Ballet Russes exhibition.

My other favourite exhibitions: Valentino in Brisbane; Islamic Art in Sydney; and Monet in Sydney.

We decided to make a whole weekend of the visit to Canberra. We visited two markets (one on each day), the Handmade Market on Saturday, and the Old Bus Depot Markets. We also discovered this beautiful restaurant, Flint. We both had the French Onion Soup (to die for!!!), and I had the duck... YUM!

Basically, I couldn't ask for more from a weekend!

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