fashion

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Sydney Film Festival 2018: Fashion Documentaries

May 31, 2018

This year the Sydney Film Festival turns 65 but has no thoughts of retirement. On the contrary, with more than 250 films being screened over a mere 12 days, the SFF is operating at the peak of its powers. Arriving at a time of year when good new releases are scarce it offers something for … More


The House of Dior

October 13, 2017

Christian Dior was never one to boast about his achievements but he had very clear ideas about the importance of fashion. “I have always seen my profession as a kind of struggle against all that is depressing and mediocre in our age,” he once said. It’s a statement any couturier would be happy to own. … More


The Dressmaker

October 29, 2015

There has been an 18-year gap between The Dressmaker and Jocelyn Moorhouse’s previous film, A Thousand Acres (1997), with a promising career being derailed by family matters. Although Moorhouse had intended to make an earlier comeback, with an adaptation of Murray Bail’s novel, Eucalyptus in 2005, this project turned into a shipwreck with as much … More


Flora & Fauna

October 2, 2015

Fashion exhibitions have drawn millions of visitors to the world’s leading art museums, but there are still cultural snobs who believe such events merely trivialise an institution. I can hardly be bothered rehearsing the old argument that sees fashion as a filthy commodity while art is food for the soul and the intellect. It’s an … More


Dior and I

April 4, 2015

Fashion is usually considered a frivolous business, but at the top end it can get very dark indeed. Last year saw the release of two bio-pics of Yves Saint Laurent, in which the great designer’s mental and physical decay was charted in forensic detail. Closer to the present we have seen John Galliano go completely … More


Jean Paul Gaultier

January 24, 2015

There are fashion designers such as the enigmatic Martin Margiela who refuse to be photographed or to give interviews. Then there is Jean Paul Gaultier, the only designer to have hosted a weekly TV program, presented the MTV Europe Music Awards, and recorded a house music hit song called ‘Aow Tou Dou Zat’. Like Andy … More


Future Beauty

January 10, 2015

In the catalogue for Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Rei Kawakubo is named as the world’s most influential living fashion designer. Although she gives few interviews, Kawakubo did submit to a 2005 New Yorker profile by Judith Thurman in which there is a telling comparison with … More


2014: The Year in Art

January 10, 2015

2014 has brought mixed fortunes for Sydney’s art institutions. The Art Gallery of NSW began with a weak show of American art, and ended with the long-awaited Pop to Popism (until 1 March) – a distinct improvement, but possibly not the hit the Gallery so badly needs. In the meantime there has been a dearth … More


Fashion Icons

December 13, 2014

“We invent nothing,” said Christian Dior, the man who revolutionised fashion in the twentieth century, “we always start from something that has come before.” This refreshing admission seems an appropriate place to begin discussing the round of fashion shows dominating Australia’s art museums this summer. The essential exhibition is Fashion Icons: Masterpieces from the Collection … More


Yves Saint Laurent

June 28, 2014

Behind every great man, as we learn in Jalil Lespert’s Yves Saint Laurent, there’s a great man. More than any designer of the 20th century, Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) revolutionised the world of fashion, but his genius for haute couture may never have been fully realised without the business acumen of Pierre Bergé. This conventional, … More


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