Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Grace of Bendigo

Last Sunday saw an end to what was a rather popular exhibition for the Bendigo Gallery- Grace Kelly: Style Icon. Beyond their expectations, the exhibit sold out weeks before it closed as fashionistas and retro glamour lovers took the 2 hour trek from Melbourne to go to regional Victoria and the charming town of Bendigo. I was so excited to be going back to Bendigo as the first time I went there, was also to see a costume exhibit at the gallery, but I fell in love with the old school charm of this historic town. I thought it was fitting that Bendigo became Grace Town, as the town itself has a grace about it. The exhibition was sensational but unfortunately you could not take photos inside. What I did learn is that Grace Kelly had a sustainable view on fashion, buying key pieces she loved and wearing them for years. She also knitted and painted her own nails and make-up as a Princess and I found that to be utterly refreshing. She truly had an eye for fashion and made anything look good on her.

The streets were lined with Grace Kelly banners for the exhibition, making it truly- Grace Town.
One of the landmarks that I always enjoy coming to is this beautiful old fountain that sits in the middle of the road. Why have a plain old roundabout when you can drive past and have a bevy of beautiful women wave you by. Yes, given they are made of stone and have water spurting out from underneath them, but that's beside the point. The wide open boulevard streets create such a sense of space and sky you almost feel like you can think straight, unlike the bustle of the city with skyscrapers closing in on you. As an architecture junkie, it is also delightful to see these historic buildings functioning amongst modern day business and shopping giving a sense that you have stepped back in time, even though you have stepped out of a regular store.
The gardens are also a definite stop on the itinerary with bold palm trees and a rose garden and greenhouse that makes you want to sit in it with a frilly full skirted dress on reading classic literature. 
Love the old signs and font
It was a day of frocks as on the way to the gallery, we passed another gallery space where artist Suzie O'Shea makes dresses out of paper and ceramic! Amazing. A lot of creativity and hard work has gone into those.

The clouds were out in full splendor on the day, and the sun decided to appear after being absent for too long, so felt very blessed with the weather. Amazed me on the way to just see wide open fields, mountains and swirling cloud formations.
Nothing beats a bit of a road trip, or should I say train trip, great architecture, nature and the glamour of exquisite gowns and a time long gone. A very memorable day. I do hope some of you were able to experience it.

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