Must see: the Collette Dinnigan retrospective opening tomorrow

Site: Yeong Sassall

The illustrious 25 year career of fashion designer Collette Dinnigan is examined in all its sparkly glory in a new exhibition opening tomorrow

As anyone following fashion in the '90s would attest, Australian-based designer Collette Dinnigan was (and still is) one of our biggest success stories. The first Australian designer to be invited to show at the prestigious Paris Collections, Dinnigan's ultra-feminine take on eveningwear, lingerie and bridal dresses were widely acclaimed and regularly worn by celebrity clientele such as Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Sarah Murdoch and Angelina Jolie.

So it's perfectly fitting that the designer will celebrate another career milestone tomorrow, when her retrospective exhibition Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced is unveiled at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. The 100-garment collection on show is the first fashion exhibition for the museum and is part of a newly created initiative: the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) Centre for Fashion. Covering 25 years of highlights from Dinnigan's archives, the exhibition was curated by Anna Tregloan in collaboration with the designer herself.

Related story: A Face of NSW Fashion Collette Dinnigan shares her Sydney shopping secrets

Known for her exquisite use of lace, silk and beadwork, the exhibition features pieces from Dinnigan's lingerie, bridalwear, ready-to-wear and resort collections, alongside objects, mood boards and accessories from her own personal archive. While visitors will be given a chance to glimpse the dresses displayed on mannequins up close, a special installation also presents the clothing in runway form - so you can see how beautifully the clothes move.

And in case you need a refresher: Dinnigan launched her label in 1990 with delicate, dry-clean only lingerie and quickly earned a reputation for her sensual designs and attention to detail. She opened her first boutique in Paddington in 1992 and was invited to show on the Paris schedule in 1995. She closed down her namesake label in October 2013, but continues to design for her diffusion label, Collette.

Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced is on show at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum from September 5 until August 28, 2016 . For details and to buy tickets, visit

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