Current Exhibition

Silhouettes: Fashion in the Shadow of HIV/AIDS

29 January - 18 June 2022

Silhouettes: Fashion in the Shadow of HIV/AIDS explores the lives and works of some of fashion’s brightest stars from the late 20th century. Featured in this ground-breaking exhibition are works by designers, artists and activists who have passed of AIDS-related illness to raise awareness of their contribution to fashion during a pivotal moment in history.

Over 120 pieces of fashion, art and ephemera – sourced from esteemed private and public collections from the UK, USA and Australia – tell a story of changing hemlines, changing worlds and changing attitudes. Showcasing household names like Halston and Moschino, Silhouettes also features work from revolutionary black designers Patrick Kelly, Fabrice Simon and Willi Smith, and forgotten talents like Clovis Ruffin and Chester Weinberg.

HIV/AIDS in fashion became an important activism tool to force social and political advancement, and in many cases intersected couture designers and activist artists as they collaborated to affect change through fashion, design, and art. Australians Peter Tully, David McDiarmid and Brenton Heath-Kerr brought this struggle to our streets with passion and panache.

The fashion designers, artists, and activists selected for Silhouettes exercised an outsized influence on fashion and almost all are unduly overlooked in recent years. Silhouettes: Fashion in the Shadow of HIV/AIDS is a powerful reminder of an entire generation of international designers lost to the virus but deserving of contemporary recognition.

Curated by Skye Bartlett

Team Manager, SAMESH


Exhibition catalogue now available!

Buy your copy now

Exhibition tours: Friday 11:15am, free with ticket, reservation required

Register for guided tour


Silhouettes: Fashion in the Shadow of HIV/AIDS

29 January to 18 June 2022

Tuesday to Saturday 10AM – 4PM

No booking required (booking only required for guided tours).

Exhibition Entry: $12 adult. $10 concession. Children under 12 free.

Future Exhibition

Doppelgängers and Zombies - Decorative Arts in the Digital Age

1 July - 23 July 2022

Doppelgängers and Zombies is a critical and artistic, experimental and provocative exploration of what it means to engage with decorative arts in our digital age. This exhibition presents new creations based on digital copies of some of the master pieces from David Roche’s collection of 17th and 18th century decorative arts objects. Newly interpreted, they are modified and translated into objects of the 21st century using digital crafting techniques and advanced fabrication technologies. 

 The creative research by the Research Fellow Dr Rochus Hinkel, from the Melbourne School of Design and Co-Director of the Advanced Digital Design and Fabrication Research Hub at The University of Melbourne is complemented by tours through the exhibition, a reflection and presentation on the processes and outcomes of the Fellowship. A limited edition of 21st century decorative arts objects will be available via a public auction offering physical and digital collectables, including NFTs.

 Doppelgängers and Zombies is the second exhibition during the two-year-long investigation of The SIDA, UNISA and David Roche Foundation’s Research Fellowship in Interior Design and Decoration.



Doppelgängers and Zombies – Decorative Arts in the Digital Age

1 July to 23 July 2022

Tuesday to Saturday 10AM – 4PM

No booking required 

Exhibition Entry: Free

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