We love a Private View. Free drinks, some great art, and maybe a networking opportunity or two? Yes please.
There’s no dress code for a Private View. In fact, most Private Views aren’t private at all: nowadays for most high street and blue chip galleries you can order a free ticket online, or just rock up. Still sounds fancy though, doesn’t it?
It’s likely that your go-to outfit for these events has become less and less formal as time goes on. Anyone else turn up in a full-on formal outfit like you were going to a wedding for your first time? Same.
We want to take a guess at what kind of person you are, and what you’re hoping for out of the PV based off your go-to outfit for exhibition openings. How did we do? Feeling seen?
LBD / cocktail dress with trainers
You’re an art world professional so wanted to give off “I’m important but not intimidating” vibes. You’re probably looking to do some networking, and will have checked Instagram before the evening to work out which people have suggested they’ll be there.
LBD / cocktail dress with heels
You’re an art world professional here to talk business and do deals. Devil Wears Prada vibes. Or this might be your first gallery opening and you maybe didn’t get the memo that PVs are actually quite casual these days.
Vintage / Bohemian
You’ve probably come with a group of friends who are also all dressed like they’re from the 70s, too. You work in the creative industries at large (maybe you’re a curator, writer, graphic designer) but you secretly wish you had been a painter. You’re a student at a popular inner-city arts university and you have some non-traditional piercings.
You are an artist and you want everyone to know it. You’ll say that you came straight from your studio but that might not be quite true, and you put on your paint-splattered trousers just before you came. This might be the perfect opportunity to talk to a curator about putting on an exhibition, after all.
Jeans & a Nice Top with a rucksack
You work in the art industries and probably know a few people at the event, but you’re not looking to have any Business Talks tonight. You’ve probably squeezed this PV into an already pretty packed schedule, so your bag has your laptop, books, jumper, and food from earlier in the day in it. You’re probably looking more bedraggled than you were when you set off for the city that morning. Or you’ve been dragged here by an arty friend and you’re not really sure what’s going on.
Jeans & a Nice Top with a handbag
You’re the inverse twin of LBD / cocktail dress with trainers – you’ve gone smart-casual to make sure people know that you’re fun and approachable but also you mean business and you’ve got money to invest. Your handbag probably cost as much as some of the smaller paintings in the exhibition, and you’re hoping potential connections at the PV will notice that.
Author: Verity Babbs