The fashion of liberation and empowerment

The Chanel exhibition opens as a timely reminder of the moment when, led by Gabrielle Chanel, women revolted against convention.
Dark exhibition space with three dresses displayed on the right.

‘What Chanel did right from the outset was create a style that actually reflects and mimics the movement of form. This is what’s radical,’ Katie Somerville, Senior Curator of Fashion and Textiles at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), told ArtsHub at the media call for the upcoming Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto.

The exhibition comes at a time when all eyes are on the global fashion empire to see where Chanel’s legacy will take them, with the passing of fashion legend Karl Lagerefeld in 2019 and this year marking the 100th Anniversary of the iconic fragrance, Chanel No. 5.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.