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Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson: ‘Step Into Paradise’ exhibition

In 1973 Jenny Kee opened her Flamingo Park store in the Strand Arcade. ‘Step into Paradise’ was the sign that hung on the door. The shop was described as “romantic, exotic and kitsch” by Jenny – a riot of colour, texture, and pattern. It showcased vintage clothing finds from London, Linda Jackson’s unique creations, and Jenny’s famous knits.

The exhibition is showing at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney until 22 March 2020. It celebrates the creative partnership between these two inspiring Australian fashion designers as well as their individual achievements in the fashion world. Over 150 garments, textiles, photographs, and artworks are on display. These items give us an in-depth insight into their design style, sources of inspiration and creative evolution.

Flamingo Park was a ‘must-see’ destination in the 70s and 80s. Famous visitors included David Bowie, Christie Brinkley, Lauren Bacall, and Olivia Newton-John. They were a global sensation! Local and international celebrities wore their clothes. Remember the media frenzy when Princess Diana wore the Jenny Kee koala jumper to a polo match in 1982?

Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson’s creations were brightly coloured, heavily patterned or both. They were inspired by everything iconically Australian. Years spent exploring the bush, especially in and around the Blue Mountains, influenced their Australian flora and fauna themes. Other sources of inspiration were semi-precious stones like opals, Australian landmarks, and indigenous art.

Here’s a sneak peek into some of the fabulous outfits on display.

Step Into Paradise: the store

Mock up of Jenny Kee's Flamingo Park store in Sydney circa 1973

Mockup of Jenny Kee’s Flamingo Park store in Sydney, 1973

 

Bright pink, over-sized knitted top with Jenny Kee motif on the back.

Bright pink, over-sized knitted top with Jenny Kee motif on the back. Mannequins in 50’s style outfits on the right.

 

Glamorous evening gowns inside the mockup of Jenny Kee's store, Flamingo Park.

Glamorous evening gowns inside the mockup of Jenny Kee’s store, Flamingo Park.

 

Three dresses from the Flamingo Park store circa 1973

Three dresses from the Flamingo Park store circa 1973

 

Australian Themes

Hand knitted wattle dresses 1978

Hand knitted wattle dresses 1978

 

Jenny Kee Waratah dress

Waratah dress

 

Three garments featuring Australian wildflower motifs and boomerangs.

Australian wildflower themes with hearts and boomerangs

 

Three Jenny Kee hand knits in earthy colours.

Hand knitted pieces in earthy tones. Intarsia knits. The Australian bush inspired these scribbly bark and leaf patterns.

 

Two outfits that feature water themes, dolphins and fish.

Celebrating the ocean and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

 

Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson: Bold Colour and Pattern Statements

Jenny Kee mannequin wears her iconic red glasses and densely patterned scarf and jumper.

Jenny Kee mannequin wears her iconic red glasses and densely patterned scarf and jumper.

 

Mannequins wearing colourful dresses.

Beads, feathers, ruffles, and striking colours.

 

Mannequin wears an bright, bold outfit featuring large rounded shapes.

Bright, saturated colours and large shapes make this outfit anything but ‘beige’.

 

Asian inspired jacket with pointy, exaggerated shoulders and appliqué.

Asian inspired jacket with pointy, exaggerated shoulders and appliqué.

 

Ethnic Themes

An outfit from Linda Jackson’s ‘Indigo’ collection. Ethnic patterns.

An outfit from Linda Jackson’s ‘Indigo’ collection

 

Outfits feature beading and vivid colours

Beading, vivid colours, triangular and diamond shapes give these outfits an African feel. Colourful organic shapes reference Australian opals.

 

Jenny Kee 'Harvest Goddess' costume designed for the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000

Jenny Kee ‘Harvest Goddess’ costume designed for the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000

Portraits of Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson

Mixed media portraits (drawing and paper collage) of Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson were a fitting way to end the exhibition.

Portrait of Australian fashion designer, Jenny Kee.

Jenny Kee

Portrait of Australian fashion designer, Linda Jackson.

Linda Jackson

Would you like to see more photos of amazing outfits and jewellery from fashion designer and artist exhibitions? Here are links to Dior, Cartier, Guo Pei, Hermes, Frieda Kahlo Museum, Viktor & Rolf.

Sticky
March 02, 2020

Cartier Exhibition Highlights from the NGA Canberra

As you might have guessed, I have more than a keen interest in style, design and colour – so my recent visit to the Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra was a real treat. It is a beautifully curated wonderland of sparkling jewels, exquisite timepieces and luxury items. Every piece was meticulously created and crafted for royalty, celebrities and society’s elite.

The exhibition finishes on the 22ndof July and is definitely worth seeing.

Here are some of my favourite pieces:

Necklaces

Cartier diamond necklace, Nizam of Hyderabad

The Nizam of Hyderabad was a gift from the Indian prince to the Queen for her marriage in 1947.

Cartier Bib necklace 1955

The 1955 Bib necklace features plaited gold, brilliant cut diamonds and turquoise cabochons

1936 Necklace boasting total of 198.45 carats of emerald-cut peridots!

Mystery Clocks

These Asian-inspired Cartier Mystery Clocks give the illusion of floating minute and hour hands. All of the mechanisms that move the two hands are made from transparent clear crystal – amazing!

Cartier Chimera Mystery Clock 1926

Chimera Mystery Clock 1926

Cartier Striking Mystery Clock 1931

Striking mystery clock with deity 1931 – 19th century Chinese white jade

Stunning Tiaras

There were so many beautiful tiaras on display at the Cartier exhibition that I found it difficult to decide which ones to show you. I chose these four because of their intricacy of design and the amazing coloured stones.

Cartier Tiara 1905 featuring 7 pear shaped diamonds

This 1905 tiara features 7 pear shaped diamonds

Cartier diamond and aquamarine tiara 1937

Diamond and aquamarine tiara 1937

Cartier Tiara 1932: baguette-cut diamonds and emerald-cut citrines

Tiara 1932: baguette-cut diamonds and emerald-cut citrines

Cartier Indian tiara, 1923. Platinum, diamonds, sapphires and pearls

Indian tiara, 1923. Platinum, diamonds, sapphires and pearls

Brooches

Cartier Lace ribbon brooch 1906

Lace ribbon brooch 1906

Cartier Palm Tree Clip Brooch

Cartier Palm Tree Clip Brooch

Cartier Bird Brooch 1948

Uma Thurman wore this Bird Brooch to the Met Gala in 2016

Cartier and Celebrity Glamour

For me, the Twentieth-Century Icons room personalised the exhibition. The photos and stories of celebrities and royals, and the special pieces Cartier had made for them, really bought the pieces to life.

Grace Kelly wearing a Cartier necklace

Grace Kelly

Necklace worn by Grace Kelly

 

Wallis Simpson wears her Cartier peacock brooch

Wallis Simpson wears her Cartier peacock brooch

Cartier - Wallis Simpson's peacock brooch
Elizabeth Taylor wears a Cartier necklace

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor wears a Cartier necklace

If you’ve enjoyed this article I have also written articles on luxury brands Hermes and Dior.

Here are the links: ‘Hermes at Work’ Exhibition: Artisans share their talents and skills

and

Australia and the House of Dior 70 Years On

 

 

 

Sticky
July 10, 2018

‘Hermes at Work’ Exhibition: Artisans Share their Talents and Skills

Hermes is a family run business spanning 5 generations. The brand is synonymous with luxury and quality workmanship. The ‘Hermes at Work’ exhibition at Melbourne Town Hall was a feast for the eyes. Artisans offered us a rare and privileged look into how each items is made.

Is was a wonderful interactive experience. Each skilled crafts-person explained and demonstrated how they transform materials such as leather, silk, precious gems and ceramics into stunning handbags, gloves, scarves, watches, jewellery, saddles and finely painted porcelain. One of the highlights was looking through the jeweller’s 15x magnifying glass at the piece he was working on; a Galop Hermes bracelet featuring 2,500 plus diamonds – dazzling!

It was a fascinating world to experience. one which requires incredible skill, time, patience, an eye for detail and a passion for excellence.

‘Hermes at Work’ is at Melbourne Town Hall until 17 March (closed 12 March). If you’re in the CBD it is definitely worth a visit.

The Leatherworker

Hermes artisan makes a Kelly bag

Making the handle of a ‘Kelly’ bag

 

Hermes artisan makes a Kelly bag

Picking up the main bag section

The Tie-Maker

A lady hand stitching a silk tie

Hand stitching a silk twill tie

A lady hand stitching a silk tie

Sewing a single thread slip stitch

The Glover

The Hermes glover at his work bench

Softened leather to be transformed into gloves

colourful leather and the glover

Rainbow of colours to be made into gloves

The Silk Printer

Man using the flat frame silk printing technique

The ‘flat frame’ silk printing technique

Man uses 'flat frame' silk printing technique

The Porcelain Painter

A selection of hand painted porcelain plates

Hand painted porcelain plates

Artisan painting a porcelain plate

The artisan uses a fine sable-hair brush to paint the plate

Ann Vodicka is a Sydney based image consultant who is passionate about style and design. She believes you can be stylish at any age, and loves helping people dress to express their individuality, and, to dress for success.

 

Sticky
March 09, 2018

Shop Your Wardrobe Workshop

surprised girl in pink, looking up, with open hand

Let’s make yours an uncluttered, uncomplicated wardrobe: Let’s Shop Your Wardrobe

 

Join us for a fun and informative two hours exploring the creative ways you can Shop Your Wardrobe. Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes but have nothing to wear? Do you have clothes you never or hardly ever wear? This workshop will show you how to get the best use from the clothes, shoes and accessories you already own. Learn clever ways to simplify your life by simplifying your wardrobe. See how to group items together to create an abundance of fabulous fuss-free outfits.

Life is busy. Getting dressed needs to be quick and easy.

Imagine….

– Saving time and energy every morning by not labouring over what you’re going to wear.

– Free your mind and space from wardrobe overload.

– Look stylish and love what you wear every day.

– Have more time to do the things you love to do rather than spending it clothes shopping.

– Own less clothes but have more outfit options.

– Have a fully functional wardrobe with less expense.

It’s all achievable!

This workshop is perfect for anyone interested in living a more organised and uncluttered life, and for those of you yearning for a more functional, versatile wardrobe.

 

Strictly limited places.

 

Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and nibbles on arrival.

 

Tickets: $42.50  Available at Eventbrite

See more information about Ann

Sticky
November 14, 2017
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