Issue 12: Editors' Letter

Dear TFA Readers,

Queensland and fashion may both have a seeming obsession with the new, yet many designers and key figures of Queensland fashion are connected to a much longer history of practice, often through their own families.

This Issue sees two different Queensland fashion families connecting with and reflecting on their predecessors. We bring together generations of Queensland design luminaries, as Liz Watson responds to a family collection of works belonging to her great-aunt, the iconic Olive Ashworth.

And Mitchell Ogilvie recalls the influence of his father, milliner Patrick Ogilvie, and reveals the highs and lows of luxury menswear retail in Brisbane.

Another stylish man, Peter Beiers, shares his dressing philosophy, and we catch up with Lindie Ward, curator at the Powerhouse Museum, who fills us in on an exciting national compendium of dress, the Australian Dress Register.

We also present an essay about the work of some stylish women of Brisbane's mid-century art world, written by Courtney Pedersen. It explores the impact of three women—critic Dr Gertrude Langer and artists Margaret Cilento and Joy Roggenkamp—whose fashionable exteriors saw them left out of the mythology of modern art in the rugged sub-tropics.

Taking you behind fashionable exteriors is one of our abiding passions here at The Fashion Archives, and so in this Issue we've rummaged through two decades of Queensland's design past to bring you a selection of sartorial highlights from the incredible Easton Pearson Archive.


Nadia & Madeleine.

Cover Image: Unidentified woman next to an Austin vehicle, Brisbane district, ca. 1960, by J.E. Hardie, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Neg: 7558-0001-0015,

Portrait of Miss Queensland Rhonda Kelly by artist Caroline Barker, 1945

Frontier thinking: fear of the frock?

Courtney Pedersen

Stylish women, Dr Gertrude Langer, Margaret Cilento, and Joy Roggenkamp, didn’t fit the mythology of modern art in Brisbane, typified by rugged artists like Ian Fairweather and Jon Molvig. Courtney Pedersen considers the place of fashion, urbanity, and women in the mid-century avant-garde.


Easton Pearson Archive

We get behind-the-scenes access to a handful of the exquisite garments contained in the Easton Pearson Archive, spanning more than two decades.

Olive Ashworth fabrics

Liz Watson and Olive Ashworth

Liz Watson uncovers a family treasure trove of textiles, garments, and photographs belonging to her great-aunt, celebrated Queensland designer Olive Ashworth.

Liz Watson

Liz Watson

Liz Watson considers the origins of her love of Australiana, and the impact of her great-aunt, Queensland designer Olive Ashworth.

Peter Beiers, 2014

Peter Beiers

What do you get when you combine heavy metal with Yohji Yamamoto and David Lee Roth? Peter Beiers, of course!

Mitchell Ogilvie

Mitchell Ogilvie

Mitchell Ogilvie recalls childhood mischief at father Patrick Ogilvie’s boutique, and looks back at a challenging 30 years of luxury menswear in Brisbane.

Courtney Pedersen

Courtney Pedersen

Artist, feminist, and historian Courtney Pedersen is burdened by her collection of 1980s and ’90s style magazines.

Young racegoers dressed up for the Sedan Dip races Julia Creek 1968

North West 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 Twelve we take you to North West Queensland.

Lindie Ward

Lindie Ward

We caught up with Lindie Ward from Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum to talk about their national online dress history project, the Australian Dress Register.

Harvey Graham boutique, ca. 1982

Harvey Graham

Harvey Graham was Brisbane’s own couturier, translating French high fashion for Queensland’s climate and tastes.