Collection Online
silk jacquard, silk organza, habotai silk, cotton, calico, angora wool, acetate jacquard, paper, beading, cotton thread, metallic embroidery thread, cotton wadding, tulle, cotton tape, polyester, Velcro, ink
Place/s of Execution
Sydney, New South Wales
Accession Number
Australian Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 2001
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
Installation work comprising 14 pieces, displayed in pairs, combining the artist's sources of inspiration drawn from his private collection with the resulting ready to wear garment. (1) Inspirational Piece: Wedding kimono, (c. 1940s). Cream silk jacquard wedding kimono with large red and gold richly embroidered cranes and smaller gold embroidered cranes. Rolled band of cotton wadding encased in bright red silk at base of the kimono. The kimono is folded to form a long rectangular shape resembling a bed, with a small pillow at the top end and rolled wadding at the base. Wide loose red cotton running stitches form a border around the outside edge. The reverse face has a central machine seam at centre back and features embroidered details. (2) Actual Piece: Beaded Dress, 1998-99 (spring/summer). Long sleeveless cotton calico dress with red habotai silk lining and encrusted surface beading in clear silver and white across the length of the front panel. The hemline of the dress features a rounded neckline and armholes cut slightly smaller than the lining to create a contrast effect. The detailed beading depicts birds, flowers and vines. Wide loose running stitches in red cotton form a border around the outside contours of the dress. Running stitches in red cotton horizontally at chest, waist and knee levels and in diagonal lines down the (facing) left side. (3) Inspirational Piece: Kimono, (c. 1960s). Screen-printed silk kimono with 'Jurban' (underlay petticoat). The printed design comprises a red background with large circular motifs in pale pink and white featuring cranes, pine trees and flowers. The garment is folded to form a square parcel and hand sewn in place with large loose running stitches in red cotton along the outside edge. The front surface is folded so that the open neckline of the kimono is displayed, showing a reinforced white ribbon band running down the central length. Two pleats sit either side of the neckband and screen-printed details are visible. The reverse side shows a detail of the kimono's machine stitched seam, visible through a hand stitched opening. (4) Actual Piece: Shift dress, 1997-98 (spring/summer). Sleeveless, bias cut dress made from a screen-printed silk fabric of brilliant red background and pale pink and white circular motifs featuring cranes, pine trees and flowers. The garment has been folded into a flat square parcel with the front surface revealing the rounded neckline of the dress and a diagonal seam running across the (facing) right corner. The outside edges of the folded parcel have been hand sewn together with large loose running stitches in red cotton. The reverse side shows similar details of screen-printed illustrations and has an identical diagonal seam running across the (facing) right corner. (5) Inspirational Piece: Funeral kimono, (c. 1960s). Funeral kimono made from black silk with beige habotai silk lining. The kimono is folded to form a square parcel with the front surface fabric revealing the silk lining. Along the centre line of the front surface the armhole runs vertically in a wide band of black silk forming an inner rectangle with an opening/split down the centre. A border is constructed by wide hand sewn running stitches around the outside edge in red cotton. The reverse side shows a large section of the folded surface in black silk with a horizontal top section of cream silk. There is a central seam at the back running horizontally and red running stitches around the edges. (6) Actual Piece: Wrap coat dress, 1999 (autumn/winter). The Wrap coat dress in angora features armhole detail in beige silk jacquard and hand stitched border in black cotton. The dress has been folded to form a square parcel and fastened with wide hand sewn running stitches in red cotton thread around the outside edges. The front surface features the original armhole detail and opening running vertically down the central section. The reverse panel shows the black wool of the coat dress with the armhole detail in silk jacquard running vertically down the (facing) left edge of the square. (7) Inspirational Piece: Akira Shopping Bag, (c. 1990s). Coated white paper bag printed with logo (akira) in black ink on both sides in the lower right corner. A black cotton tape threaded through two small holes at the top edge and knotted behind forms the bags' handles. The bag is folded so that the flattened base rests against the reverse face of the bag. This is held in place by a continuous border of wide loose running stitches in red cotton which continue around the outside edges of the black tape handles. (8) Actual Piece: 'Boxed top', 1999 (autumn/winter). The 'Boxed top' of silk organza is folded to resemble a rectangular shopping bag with handle detail. The folded garment is hand stitched in place by black cotton stitches at the interior folded edges, and again in wide red cotton running stitches around all outside edges. The front edge of the garment has a folded horizontal pleat starting 8cm from the top edge. The reverse side of the garment reveals several open pressed folds of fabric at the top and bottom sections where the original top has been folded to make up the shape of the shopping bag. (9) Inspirational Piece: Beaded Indonesian batik. Square of folded fabric in dark forest green and printed batik sewn together by running stitches in red cotton around the outside edge. The surface is encrusted in opalescent beading imitating the batik illustration below. The beading depicts perched birds, sprawling vines and trumpet shaped flowers in a combination of pale pink, gold, green, red, yellow and clear beads. The densely clustered beading creates a 3D surface texture. (10) Actual Piece: Beaded dress, 1998-99 (spring/summer). Cotton calico beaded dress folded into a small square parcel and hand sewn in place with wide red cotton running stitches. The beaded design depicts perched birds, sprawling vines and trumpet shaped flowers in a single thread of opalescent white, grey and silver beads stitched to the surface of the fabric. (11) Inspirational Piece: Hakama, (c. 1980s). The Hakama of purple acetate jacquard is traditionally worn at age 3 in Japan. The fabric features a large repeated circular design of pairs of entwined fronds encircling a central motif of speared lotus leaves on two axis. Comprising a single white horizontal ribbon band from which the body of the garment is attached in a series of wide inward facing pleats - five at front and rear. The garment is folded so that the sides extend diagonally out to a point and then down a straight seam edge to the hemline. (12) Actual Piece: Organza play top, 1999 (autumn/winter). The Play top of beige silk organza is machine stitched with hand sewn detail. The neckline opening is a flat ribbon band in white cotton with two organza loops at the front seam and long ribbon ties in the same fabric attached to the back seams. The front section of the garment comprises four wide pleats and is sewn to the ribbon neckline. The top is cut diagonally to below the armhole and then follows a straight edge seam to the hemline. The garment is folded in imitation of a child's "Hakama" and the ribbon waist band is folded to form a bow tie either side of the neck band. Wide red running stitches follow the outside edges of the garment. (13) Inspirational Piece: Wedding kimono. The Wedding Kimono is of unpicked, cream silk jacquard with silver, gold and bronze embroidery detail. The kimono is folded to form a square parcel with embroidery details exposed on both front and back. The front panel features a dense segment of embroidery in silver metallic thread depicting a large winged crane in flight. A second design shows a cluster of pale gold and bronze flowers in metallic thread against a background patch of dense red needlework. Around the edges is a border of hand sewn wide loose red running stitches. (14) Actual Piece: Shift dress, 1998-99 (spring/summer). The shift dress is of bias cut ivory silk organza with red habotai silk half lining. The garment is folded in a loose square parcel with the front face showing the upper section of the dress from the rounded neckline to the waist. This face is folded to expose contrasting single and double layers of the ivory organza over the red lining at a diagonal angle from the shoulder seam to the hemline. In the (facing) right corner of the garment is a feature detail of a crane in densely executed silver metallic thread embroidery. A border of wide loose red running stitches follows the outside edge of the garment. The reverse face is a pattern of contrasting colours formed by the effect of layering folds of the dress. Border stitches appear in red cotton around edges.