The new look: 1960s fashion in Melbourne

‘The new look: 1960s fashion in Melbourne’ showcases the exuberance and innovation of 1960s Australian women’s couture through a selection of garments, accessories and photography by Bruno Benini, Athol Shmith, and Henry Talbot. A fresh new look emerged in Australian fashion during this exciting decade of cultural and social change, with a new generation of fashion designers transforming the youth fashion and culture of this period.

Bruno Benini, No title (Fashion illustration. Model Susie Cuthbert), 1966, printed 1998, gelatin silver photograph, 53.5 x 50.3cm (image). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased, 1998 (1998.352). Courtesy the Bruno Benini Estate

This exhibition provides rich insight into the diversity and evolution of the local fashion scene in Melbourne with a selection of day wear and after-five evening garments by Melbourne labels and fashion designers including Prue Acton, Norma Tullo, Mr Simon, Sharene Creations, Miss Hartnell, Hartnell of Melbourne, Kenneth Pirrie, Hall Ludlow, Thomas Wardle, Elvie Hill, Jinoel, Stephen Glass, Gala and its Youth label Emma, Interlude by Rona, Van Roth, Noeleen King, Charlotte Fifth Avenue Gowns, Raoul Couture, Influence by Regina Blau, Leon Haskin, L’Officiel, Louisa, Young Outlook and Louise Guy.

The exhibition canvasses the seismic changes in Australian fashion, discussing historic moments in Australian women’s fashion history from the mini dress, trouser suits and hot pants through to the end of the 1960s when short hemlines dropped in favour of flowing maxi-length dresses. ‘The new look: 1960s fashion in Melbourne’ pays homage to Melbourne and Sydney fashion stores which became destinations for liberated youth searching for imaginative and cutting-edge clothing that reflected the radical zeitgeist of the decade.

Prue Acton, black and white photograph featuring model wearing Prue Acton black mini dress and hat, c.1967. The Prue Acton Collection, Museum of Victoria and RMIT. Donated by Prue Acton 1994

Glen Eira City Council Gallery
Until 27 May, 2018