NGV Announces Highly Prized Fashion Collection

On Tuesday, NGV International announced the acquisition of one of the world’s most enviable haute couture collections. It’s the largest collection of its kind to be brought to an Australian museum, with pieces by Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Vionnet and Jeanne Lanvin, as well as an outstanding fashion research archive including rare workbooks and photography by Yves Saint Laurent and Madame Grès.

Parisian collector and former Givenchy couturier Dominique Sirop developed his collection over thirty years. It was later purchased for $1.4 million and generously donated to the NGV, by major donor and NGV Foundation Board member Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty, in memory of Mr Harold Campbell-Pretty.

The custom-made crates started arriving from Paris only a week ago, and it was an utter thrill and honour to be surrounded by only a small selection from the total 130 pieces from over thirty designers and couturiers from 1800-2003.

Inside The Dominique Sirop Collection

Eleven gowns by Christian Dior

including a prized couture dress from his first ever collection.

Twelve exquisite works by Coco Chanel

rare 1920s-era gowns

Grecian-style sheaths by Madame Grès


Stunning examples from Charles Frederick Worth

the father of haute couture.

Other pieces include a feathered evening cape, embellished ball gowns and bias-cut silk sheaths by influential French couture designers, such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Paul Poiret, Jean Patou and Jeanne Paquin, mostly designed between 1890 and 1960.

The Dominique Sirop Collection will form part of a major exhibition at NGV which will open to the public early in 2018.

Click below to view the gallery:


About Dominique Sirop

Collector Dominique Sirop first started the collection at age fourteen – he bought a 1945 Paquin black wool dress with money borrowed from his grandmother. Sirop’s mother modelled at Paquin for six years from 1946 until 1952.

A majority of the works in the collection and archive were then collected from auction houses and specialist dealers in the United States, France and England between 1989 and 2014 while Sirop worked as assistant designer to Hubert Givenchy. He then collected the majority of the works in both the collection and archive from auction houses and specialist dealers in the US, France and London between 1989 and 2014, whilst assistant designer to Hubert Givenchy at the House of Givenchy and at his own couture house.

‘This collection provides an important heritage for younger generations and I wanted to pass on this history to them. I also wanted to find a museum that understands my passion for fashion.’

– Dominique Sirop

The Campbell-Pretty Fashion Research Collection

Also acquired and donated to the NGV was the invaluable, deep archive of drawings and materials including rare workbooks and photography by Yves Saint Laurent and Madame Grès. There are original fashion designs and couture house workbooks by Jeanne Lanvin, fashion photography from Paris fashion houses like Balenciaga. Also included are rare fashion magazine sketches and coveted early issues of Gazette du Bon Ton, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and L’Officiel from between 1909 -1966.

The donation of the archive will form the basis of a new specialist fashion research library created for the NGV – the Campbell-Pretty Fashion Research Collection – supported by Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty in memory of Mr Harold Campbell-Pretty.

Click below to view the gallery:


‘My late husband Harold Campbell-Pretty, was a committed supporter of the NGV and a great lover of women’s fashion.

This gift, in his memory, is an outstanding opportunity to recognise both of these passions in honouring a most elegant man, a true gentleman.’

-Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty


Pictured at top: Krystyna Campbell-Pretty in front of a selection of works from The Dominique Sirop Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Purchased with funds donated by Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty in memory of Mr Harold Campbell-Pretty, 2015.

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