Issue 7: Editors' Letter

Dear TFA Readers,

If there's one thing that people tell us all the time about Queensland style, it's that it is full of COLOUR. It is also 'relaxed' and 'tropical.' But where did these pervasive associations and flamboyant aesthetics originate? In this Issue, TFA Co-Director Madeleine King takes us on a romantic and glamorous journey t0 explore mid-century fashion in the sunshine state and discovers where all of those tropical colours and beachy vibes were born.

On the topic of bright and breezy garb, we also review the work of Katie Pye, a Sydney-born but Queensland-embraced designer who adores embellishment.

And speaking of embellishment, we take you inside two collections that are bursting at the seams with exquisitely detailed objects, both based in Queensland. The first is a private collection, one of the biggest in the world, of vintage and antique handbags & accessories: the Jean Brown Archive. The second is the UQ Anthropology Museum, whose impressive collection of ethnographic material culture was inspiration for contemporary artist Chantal Fraser's stunning and personal Remember or Revive.

For those of you who are just joining us, our brief introductory essay will provide you with all you need to know about The Fashion Archives project. And you can always catch up by browsing our past issues.

See you next fortnight!
Nadia & Madeleine


Cover image: Group of tourists outside St. Bernard's Hotel, Mount Tamborine, Queensland, November 1958. Gold Coast City Council Local Studies Library.

Detail of South Queensland Surfing Resorts. The Beaches are Calling! Painted design featuring a beach scene with people, ca. 1939

Tropical Fashion: mid-century modern style in the sunshine state

Madeleine King

The promise of romance, adventure, luxury and leisure was what made Queensland a holiday paradise in the mid-20th century. This was the making of casual, colourful Queensland fashion.

Purse of Endearment, 1830

Jean Brown Archive

The Jean Brown Archive is one of the largest collections of antique and vintage handbags in the world. Fortunately for us, this exceptional collection resides in Brisbane.

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Chantal Fraser & UQ Anthropology Museum

Chantal Fraser takes a personal approach to some incredible beaded mourning attire from Papua New Guinea.

Chantal Fraser

Chantal Fraser

Chantal explains the difference between cultural appropriation and inspiration in fashion and art.

Alice Payne, 2013

Alice Payne

Alice Payne advocates wearing wool for relief from the heat and environmental sustainability.

Amber Long

Amber Long

Jean Brown founder Amber Long recalls her teenage style predilections, and the impact of her Grandmother, Mother, and now Daughter, on her aesthetic.

Hannah Gartside

Hannah Gartside

Hannah Gartside explains why sewing helps her to make sense of the world.

Kevin Gibney, Van Gogh hat, 1954

Kevin Gibney

Kevin Gibney was a young, talented, and enterprising Brisbane milliner who specialised in bringing the styles of Paris and London to his devoted local clientele in the 1950s and ’60s.

Beach scene at Lindeman Island, Queensland, ca. 1950

Central Queensland

TFA’s People & Places is your road-map to the key sites, figures, and scenes that have shaped fashion in Queensland from the late 19th century onwards. In Issue Seven we take you to Central Queensland.

Katie Pye, 'Dragonfly Outfit', cotton, polyester, sateen, plastic, metal, 1990

Katie Pye

Katie Pye is known as an Australian fashion iconoclast, and for a time she was a fixture on the Queensland scene.