The Art Gallery of Hamilton is pleased to announce its new exhibition featuring iconic Canadian luxury retailer Milli. The exhibition, Milli: A Celebration of Style brings together ensembles that span fashion trailblazer Milli Gould’s first half-century in business.

Milli Gala Photos provided by Style Group

On view from April 13, 2019 through February 9, 2020, Milli: A Celebration of Style is the first comprehensive retrospective of the retailer and the first time artworks from the Art Gallery of Hamilton permanent collection will be shown in conversation with fashion.

Milli Gould, Via the Hamilton Spectator 

Guest curated by journalist and independent curator Nolan Bryant, the exhibition examines the history of the Milli brand in context with art. A collection of nearly 50 significant Milli ensembles and artifacts from the private collections of Hamilton and Toronto’s most stylish women are on display alongside 25 works including painting, photography, prints and sculpture, from the AGH collection.

“The ensembles included in this exhibition stand together as nuanced expressions of the Milli aesthetic, and each in a way honours the creative eye and curious spirit of Milli’s founder Milli Gould,” says curator Nolan Bryant. “It’s been a delight to see splendid fashion examples from Milli’s fifty-plus-years in business come together in conversation with incredible works, some never publicly exhibited, from the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s exceptional permanent collection.”

Works by fashion creators including Thierry Mugler, Giorgio Armani, Sonia Rykiel, Peter Keppler, Erdem Moralioglu and Milli Gould herself, are displayed alongside works by artists including Shelly Niro, Louise Nevelson, Larry Fink and Robert Motherwell. The showcase also features photographs of pieces collected through the Milli Archive Project — an initiative started in 2015 calling on Canadian women to contribute their favourite Milli garments to build a collection of Canadian style stories.

“Art and fashion have an interconnected relationship that goes far beyond the aesthetic. When exceptional stories of fashion or design are placed within a gallery setting, their larger impact forefronts the narrative highlighting and challenging various aspects of our culture and history,” says Shelley Falconer, President and CEO of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. “Milli Gould is one of Canada’s most important catalysts for fashion and design. We are delighted to share her story of being a quiet activist and champion of women as they took on new meaning and spaces in society.”

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Women have been flocking to style maven Milli Gould’s boutiques since she first opened her doors in Hamilton in 1964. With a gorgeous new boutique in Toronto and its original Hamilton store newly renovated, Milli continues to be the luxury lifestyle destination for elegant, creative, and distinctive pieces thoughtfully selected from all over the globe.

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Founded in 1914, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is the oldest and largest public art gallery in southwestern Ontario. Its permanent collection, which is focused on historical Canadian, 19th-century European, and International and Contemporary art, numbers more than 10,000 works and is recognized as one of Canada’s finest. The AGH is a vital creative hub and centre of lifelong learning that enables people of all ages to enrich their lives by gaining a deeper understanding of art. The Gallery is supported by the City of Hamilton, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

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