Fashion exhibition takes look at 50s glamour
Ankle soccer cleats lateline’s bestdressed reporter, Hamish Fitzsimmons, has the story.HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: It was a time when looking your best was important and nights out really matteredDIANE MASTERS, MODEL: People dressed then. They weren’t all in jeans as perhaps they are now. It was a different world and we enjoyed it enormously.HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: This exhibition, at Melbourne’s historic Como House, looks at the emerging high fashion world in Australia through the clothes and the stories of some of the women who modelled them.CORAL KNOWLES, MODEL: In those days glamour was very important. All the models had to be glamorous;
you just couldn’t be just Plain Jane.HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The photos and gowns tell the story of a growing industry, which at the time included a young photographer named Helmut Newton.Those who were there describe it as a time when people were learning to have fun again and were embracing fashion.DIANE MASTERS: After the war there was very little fashion around. And we’d had rationing and people wore simple, practical clothes. And it was only when the war ended and gradually life improved, that some beautiful clothes came out from Europe and materials were available for designers.HAMISH FITZSIMMONS:
The National Trust Of Australia is staging the exhibition to highlight an important time in Australia’s and Melbourne’s historyMARTIN GREEN, NATIONAL TRUST: By the early 50s you have Australia was looking to Europe and Couturiers were bringing their clothes to Australia. Then we had an influx of magazines and designers were absorbing all this culture from Europe and developing their own designs.HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Coral Knowles was asked to model clothes for the wool board ankle soccer cleats after being spotted in a department store as a teenager.She says the quality ankle soccer cleats of those creations sets them apart.CORAL KNOWLES: They’re almost like a architectural piece rather than just a piece of clothing, as you can see, because they’ve lasted the test of time. I mean they probably could all be worn right now.HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: But Australian fashion was turned on its head in 1965, when English model Jean Shrimpton caused outrage at the Melbourne Cup when she famously attended a without gloves or a hat and wearing what was, at the time, a scandalously short skirt.(Start archive footage of Jean Shrimpton Melbourne Cup reaction)REPORTER: cheap cr7 shoes Many of the fashion leaders in Melbourne are still fuming.FEMALE: I was cheap cr7 shoes most disappointed, most disappointed indeed.REPORTER: Do you think she should have worn a hat?MARTIN GREEN: From that moment you suddenly let in the swinging 60s and there was just this sea change, this sort of renaissance where people were suddenly casual and exploring new ideas in fashion.CORAL KNOWLES: High fashion then was ‘high fashion.’ I think now the high fashion has gone, the ‘high’ has gone out of the ‘high fashion’. I think, they were so ankle soccer cleats glamorous, the look was so glamorous, whereas now it’s not so glamorous as it was then ankle soccer cleats.