Fashion Flashback: Photography's Glamour Story Exposed
Nicole Kidman, 1982. The Lewis Morley Archive, LLC
The story of Australian fashion photography is being told in pictures in a new exhibition at the State Library of NSW.
Flashback: 160 years of Australian Fashion Photos showcases images from the State Library's collection, with pictures ranging from mid 19th century hand-coloured portraiture through to contemporary fashion shots.
"Fashion photography wasn't always about the business of 'selling' clothes or showcasing celebrity style, as it is today," says Margot Riley, curator and State Library fashion expert. "Once, it was a private endeavour with the wealthy posing for photographic portraits wearing their finest clothes to share with family and friends."
As photographic processes advanced, becoming faster and cheaper, and as mass print media exploded in the late 19th Century, fashion photography began to expand and pick up pace.
"Prior to the mid 1920s there were no professional fashion models in Australia so pretty society girls were used but by the 1930s local advertising and women's magazine publishing industries were in full swing using images of fashionably dressed upper class women, models and screen stars to promote the latest styles," Ms Riley says.
Images of iconic Australian catwalk pioneers June Dally Watkins and Maggie Tabberer, as well as budding actress Nicole Kidman and former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins are also featured. There are also photos by photography icons Helmut Newton and Lewis Morley.
Flashback: 160 years of Australian Fashion Photos will be on show at the State Library of NSW from 13 August to late December 2012.
More info: www.sl.nsw.gov.au
Nicole Kidman, 1982. The Lewis Morley Archive, LLC.
Carmen Dell’Orefice, Neiman-Marcus American Fashion parade for David Jones, 1950, photograph by Geoffrey Lee.
Mark Foy's fashion, photograph, 1968. © Geoffrey Lee.