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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.

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March 02, 2020

Guo Pei: ‘Legend’ extravaganza at the NGV

The National Gallery of Victoria’s impressive inaugural Triennial exhibition featured displays of contemporary artists from 32 countries. A stand out for me was the collection of wonderful creations from Chinese born fashion designer Guo Pei. The stunning costumes were from her 2017 Spring/Summer ‘Legend’ couture parade.

All of the ‘Legend’ pieces were on loan from a private collection. These amazing gowns showcased Guo Pei’s remarkable imagination and design prowess. Bringing her phenomenal concepts to life took hundreds of skilled artisans thousands of hours to complete.

Pei’s inspiration came from her visit to the baroque cathedral of St. Gall in Switzerland. She was mesmerised by the stunning ethereal murals, its dome and the rich gold ornaments. And so began a two-year journey of inspiration and creation leading to these impressive haute couture gowns.

This display was a feast of sparkling crystals, sumptuous embroidery and silk. As well as feathers, metal, PVC, dazzling gold thread and organza.

Here are some of the photos I took during my visit.

Ensembles

Black chest piece and lace gown Guo Pei

Black chest piece and lace gown

Lantern sleeve gown Guo Pei

Lantern sleeve gown

Deep green and gold dress Guo Pei

Deep green and gold dress

Feathered gown Guo Pei

Feathered gown

Angel gown with gold Guo Pei

Angel gown with gold

Skirt of Angel dress with gold Guo Pei

Skirt of Angel dress with gold

White Goddess Guo Pei

White Goddess

Luminous spirit Guo Pei

Luminous spirit

Fantasy Footwear

Suede and beaded shoes from Guo Pei's Legend collection
Feathered fantasy footwear Guo Pei Legend collection
Gold fantasy footwear Guo Pei Legend collection

Fabulous Fabrics

Sequinned and beaded lace Guo Pei
Red Goddess dress metallic fabric Guo Pei Legend collection
Heavily embroidered fabric Legend Collection Guo Pei
Dazzling emboidered fabric from Guo Pei's Legend collection
Silk, polyester, pvc and emboidery used to make a Guo Pei Legend collection dress
Feathers on fabric Guo Pei Legend collection

The Finale

Guo Pei’s ‘Legend’ couture fashion show ended spectacularly with this Red Goddess gown. Carmen Dell’Orefice, octogenarian and American model, paraded the gown which is said to symbolise blood.  Made from metallic fabric, silk, crystals and embroidery, this sculptural piece makes a dramatic statement as you enter and exist the exhibition.

Guo Pei Legend collection Red Goddess ensemble
Close up of Red Goddess dress Guo Pei
Red Goddess ensemble with train Guo Pei Legend collection

 

Ann Vodicka is a Sydney based image consultant and personal stylist. She believes that all her clients have their own unique sense of personal style and she delights in helping them express it!

Image Confidence was created to help you look your best with minimum effort and maximum impact.

Contact Ann to start your transform to image confidence.

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March 21, 2018

Put the Brakes on Fast Fashion

You’ve probably heard of the term fast fashion. The Oxford dictionary defines it as, “Inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” I think it’s fair to say that most of us have bought fast fashion.

In March 2017, ABC’s Lateline program reported that “in Australia alone, more than 500,000 tonnes of textiles and leather end up in landfill each year.”  That’s mind blowing!

These days the fashion industry has the ability to manufacture cheap, low quality clothing very quickly. Retailers are introducing new trends every few weeks and this is impacting our buying habits. We’re buying more and more clothes and the flow on effect is that the amount of clothes we’re throwing away is increasing too.

So how do we put the brakes on this fast fashion phenomenon? What can we do to extend the lifespan of our clothes and delay their journey into landfill?

Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:

  •  Donate to and shop at charity stores. There’s plenty to choose from: Australian Red Cross, Vinnies, Salvos, Anglicare and The Smith Family. I bought this stunning Elie Tahari silk blouse for $28 at my local Red Cross shop…. Bargain!
Saying "no" to fast fashion: my Elie Tahari blouse bought at the Red Cross Shop

Elie Tahari silk blouse from my local Red Cross shop

  • Sell or buy at recycle/consignment boutiques. I’ve used Recycled Rags Emporium in Sydney to sell some of my near new clothes and shoes that were lying idle in my wardrobe.
  • Buy and sell online at websites such as Ebay, Gumtree and Facebook’s Marketplace.
  • Organise swap meets with friends or participate in a local community event. Last Sunday Inner West Council held a clothing swap as part of their Footprints Eco Festival.  It was a fantastic initiative and lots of fun.
Say "no" to fast fashion by clothes swapping.

Clothes swap at Eco Festival

What else can I do to put the brakes on Fast Fashion?

  • Offer or gift items to family and friends (with no offence taken if they don’t want them.)
  • Buy eco friendly fashion items from businesses that promote ethical and sustainable fashion such as purepod.com.au, theark.com.au (their Travel 17 collection is fantastic), wellmadeclothes.com.au and threadharvest.com.au
  • Sell at markets and car boot sales. I have sold clothes, shoes, accessories and other bits and pieces at Rozelle markets in Sydney on the occasional weekend. Each time I walked away with a tidy profit of more than $600!
  • If you buy from fashions brands like H & M, Nike and Patagonia, look into their recycling programs and incentives.
  • Donate ‘gently used’ professional clothing to your local not for profit organisations that support women and men in their quest for financial independence through employment and upskilling. e.g. Wear for Success in Melbourne (for men and women), and Dress for Success (Women only. Locations around Australia).
  • Vivienne Westwood said it so well; “Buy less, choose well.” Invest in higher quality items that mix and match with pieces you already own. Not only will they last longer, (that’s the aim of the game), but you’ll get better cost per wear per garment. Every item will earn its keep. Spending money on higher quality fabrics and textiles helps garments retain their shape, colour and surface texture for longer.
  • Shop your wardrobe. Spend an afternoon reinventing new outfits from the pieces you already own. You’ll probably discover items you forgot were there or find pieces that still have the shop tag on them! Get your creative juices flowing! Breathe new life into the existing contents of your wardrobe.
  • If you’re handy with a sewing machine or know a quality clothing alterations store you can repair or restyle garments to give them a new lease of life. You could change them to align with current fashion trends or to better fit your figure and proportions. And, if you’re stuck for ideas, Suzannah Hamlin Stanley’s book, ‘DIY Wardrobe Makeovers: Alter, Refresh & Refashion Your Clothes * Step-By-Step Sewing Tutorials’ provides plenty of handy tips and inspiration. Another book worth mentioning is, “The Refashion Handbook: Refit, Redesign, Remake for Everybody.’ by Beth Huntington.
  • Rent items you’ll only wear once. It’s such an easy, affordable way to stay current and you’ll never be seen wearing the same outfit twice. Rates are very reasonable compared to the cost of a new garment and most suppliers offer next day delivery to capital cities. dressedup.com.au glamcorner.com.au yourcloset.com.au
  • Lastly, create a capsule wardrobe: a group of clothes that mix and match with each other unified by colour. You’ll need less clothes and have more options because all items work together. It also equates to better cost per wear per item e.g. A $100 for a shirt worn 100 times =  $1 each time you wore it.
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September 03, 2017

Fashion Colours for Winter 2017 – Your Trend Forecast.

For those of us in the southern hemisphere, we’re in the thick of winter right now: time to be adding some fun, fashion colours to liven up your day and your wardrobe.

So how do we know what colours are on trend for this season?

Every year fashion colour trends are summarised in reports from world renown colour authority, Pantone. These reports highlight the colours we will see in shops for the upcoming seasons. Forecasts are based on colours showcased at New York and London Fashion Weeks.

Pantone’s Fashion Colour Report for Fall/Winter 2017 has a collection of warm and cool reds, deep port, soft pinks, olive to lime greens, autumn leaf colours like rust, terracotta and spiced mustard and some light to medium cool blues.

Pantone’s New York Fall/Winter Fashion Colours 2017

Use accents of these colours to add interest to your winter outfits. Style with accessories like scarves, earrings, necklaces, ties, hats and gloves. It’s the easiest way to incorporate colour to achieve an on trend look.

If you have warm undertones consider hues like Grenadine, Lemon Curry and Golden Lime. If you have cool undertones choose colours like Blue Bell, Shaded Spruce and Ballet Slipper. Experiment with these fashion colours to discover what works well for you.

Pantone’s London Fall/Winter Fashion Colours 2017

Choosing colours that best suit your hair, eyes and skin tone will have you looking healthy and vibrant even on the greyest of days!

Have you been trying out various warm and cool colours, like those in the Pantone winter colour range, but are still baffled by which colours work for you? A personal colour analysis will eliminate all of the confusion and guesswork. You’ll know your best colours for every season, including this winter.

 

Discover what colours work for you.

 

 

Ann

ann@imageconfidence.com.au

0408 108 804

 

 

 

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June 27, 2017
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