Issue 6: Editors' Letter

Dear TFA Readers,

In our coverage of Queensland style to date, we've spent a lot of time looking at the makers of Queensland fashion, but in this Issue, we wanted to switch our focus to the spaces of Queensland fashion. Our cover image is a fabulous photograph of the glamorous Wallace Bishop Arcade in Brisbane's CBD in 1939. The neon displays advertising a range of fashion finery (Milanese hosiery, anyone?) are both dynamic and charming; big-city lights in a small town.

From market stalls to shop-windows, display has always been central to marketing desire in fashion, but as TFA Co-Director Nadia Buick explores, the presentation of fashion now enjoys a more elevated cultural position with the rise of the fashion exhibition. Her Fashion Smarts essay is the first to chart the history of fashion exhibitions and displays in Queensland, and takes us from 19th century department store displays all the way up to the recent blockbuster Valentino show in Brisbane.

For 90 years, the Brisbane Arcade has been considered the home of Queensland chic, and we step back through time to look at some of the prominent boutiques and designers that have resided there throughout the decades. We also catch up with the director of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival - another stunning home of Queensland design.

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: Wallace Bishop Arcade, Albert Street, Brisbane, 1939.

‘Easton Pearson’ exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2009.

Fashion Exhibitions in Queensland: a short history

Nadia Buick

Queenslanders love a good fashion exhibition. Nadia Buick takes a look at the history of these popular events, and explains why they are set to continue.

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Brisbane Arcade

For 90 years this elegant arcade has brought together some of Queensland’s finest dressmakers, designers and couturiers.

Tea Towel feature image

Maison Briz Vegas

Maison Briz Vegas turn some vintage souvenir tea towels in to a series of humorous and symbolic new garments.

Pia Du Pradal

Pia du Pradal

Pia du Pradal looks to the wisdom of Italian women to inspire fashion for Queensland, and finds it’s all about the fabric.

Ari Athans

Ari Athans

Jeweller Ari Athans explores the impact of her Greek heritage on her design practice.

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Christopher Salter

MoB Deputy Director Christopher Salter’s style icons range from mid-century movie stars to local fashion pioneers.

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Lindsay Bennett

MBFF Director Lindsay Bennett articulates his appreciation of Queensland style, and explains why the local industry is so vibrant.

Michael Marendy

Michael Marendy

Michael Marendy is Queensland’s leading fashion and textiles conservator. He has contributed significant research on the life and work of local fashion figures, and has been curating a number of fashion exhibitions to bring their designs to life.

Crowds attending a parade in Upper Mary Street, Gympie, undated (shoe shop visible on left)

South East 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 Six we take you to South East Queensland.

Wallace Bishop & Son jewellery box

Wallace Bishop

Wallace Bishop is an Australian jewellery empire, established in Brisbane and family run since 1917.