, 2022-12-10 19:00:00,
Right beside the Museum of Contemporary Art, in a purpose-built white and blue cube, mottled like a QR code, the See LV exhibition is an imposing presence in Sydney’s Circular Quay. It houses some of Louis Vuitton’s greatest hits from over a century and a half of luggage and later fashion design, all on display for free.
South across the city, at the Powerhouse in Ultimo, there are two more fashion exhibitions, Gucci Garden Archetypes (which is staged by Gucci) and Zampatti, a retrospective of the late Australian designer Carla Zampatti, staged by the Powerhouse.
“I just came from Gucci [Gardens], and now I’m at the LV museum,” one visitor at See LV remarks, within earshot. “Corporations seem to be museums now.”
These are not the only big fashion exhibitions opening in Australia this summer, with the National Gallery of Victoria’s blockbuster Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse opening on 11 December, the day See LV closes.
“Commerce and culture have been intertwined for hundreds of years,” says Roger Leong, the curator of Zampatti. “Brands with a long heritage, like Gucci, Chanel, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, usually have extensive archives, which gives them the scope to present compelling exhibitions, sometimes in a museum context.”
But he’s quick to draw a distinction between shows like Zampatti and Mind, Mythos and Muse, and the offerings produced entirely…
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