Flair: From salon to boutique
Australian fashion labels through the 60s
MAGG, Melbourne (fashion house); Zara HOLT (designer)
Evening dress and jacket (c. 1965) (detail)
silk, cotton, plastic, synthetic fibres
(a) 71.5 cm (centre back) 66.0 cm (sleeve length) (jacket) (b) 147.0 cm (centre back) 41.0 cm (waist, flat) (dress) (c) 5.0 x 179.0 cm (belt)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Anthea Ball in memory of Mrs Gladys Ball, 2004
2004.797.a-c

From intimate, exclusive salons to swinging urban boutiques, fashion in the 1960s underwent a radical cultural transformation. As ready-to-wear replaced custom made, a new generation of talented, young Australian designers emerged to produce garments for their own modern and 'contemporary' lifestyles.

Designers like the House of Merivale, Norma Tullo and Prue Acton pioneered an aesthetic that was youthful, progressive and total, experimenting with new design ideas, fabrics and technologies. While more established labels like Magg, Tu and Lucas adopted psychedelic colour palettes and a diversity of new silhouettes as part of an expanded design vocabulary.

Absorbed in pop culture, but appropriating the model of the atelier, speciality fashion boutiques became the universal vehicle for experiencing cutting edge and creative fashions. Mini to maxi, baby doll to unisex, this exhibition looks at the major style shift from middle age to teenage, and considers its influence on contemporary Australian fashion.


11 Feb 200506 Nov 2005 The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square