When the glamour of fashion meets the grandeur of art, visitors to Tauranga Art Gallery are in for a theatrical treat.

On Saturday, the curtain will be raised to reveal eight ground-breaking collaborations between well-known fashion labels and artists in New Zealand and Australian from the past 30 years.

Curated by gallery director Karl Chitham with Peter Shand, the exhibition is pegged as "fabulous and theatrical".

Like a stage set, garments straight off the catwalk are presented next to large-scale, inspirational artworks.

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The collaborations celebrated in this exhibition (titled Children of Mallarmé: Fashion, Art & Collaboration) include Workshop with John Reynolds; Doris de Pont with John Pule, Richard Killeen and Tracey Williams; WORLD with Reuben Paterson; Jimmy D with Andrew McLeod; and Romance Was Born with Nell and Jess Johnson.

Australian artist Nell's signature rock 'n roll wallpaper will be paired with projected digital animation from Walters prize finalist Jess Johnson (in collaboration with Simon Ward). Surrounding these will be the dramatic, embellished and print heavy garments from Romance Was Born, which both artists have collaborated on.

Reuben Paterson brings the glamour with his giant 2.2-metre-high glitter bear called David, his WORLD collaboration glitter suits and his duo of sparkly lions, titled The Erotic Champions of the World (I and II), gracing the gallery walls.

Reuben Paterson brings the glamour with his giant 2.2-metre-high glitter bear called David. Photo / Supplied
Reuben Paterson brings the glamour with his giant 2.2-metre-high glitter bear called David. Photo / Supplied

Celebrating pattern and identity through fashion; Doris de Pont's collaborations with Pule, Killeen and Williams are brought to life with screen-printed garments, ballroom worthy pieces and geometric prints modelled in front of imposing works from all three artists.

Contrasting glitter and ball gowns is the edgy collaboration between Jimmy D and Andrew McLeod. This collaboration is a natural fit; combining the dark energy and gothic overtones of McLeod's imagery with the label's flamboyant designs.

And with equal street cred are the grungy, printed tees designed by John Reynolds for Workshop, which are hung Japanese-style over a scene of urban street culture; think roadwork signs and men's denim.

And who is Mallarmé?

This dynamic and unique exhibition recognises the symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé and his fashion writing from the 1800s.

This show guarantees to be as radical, provocative and fashion-forward as its name sake and his famous fashion publication.

What: Children of Mallarmé: Fashion, Art & Collaboration

Where: Tauranga Art Gallery

When: June 30-September 16

More info: artgallery.org.nz