In this feature, a selection of guest contributors respond to an image or material artefact (typically a garment or accessory), that represents Queensland fashion. Each item is specifically chosen by The Fashion Archives in collaboration with collections and with a particular contemporary practitioner in mind. As a result, each Remember of Revive is a bespoke response and can take many formats and styles.
For our first Remember or Revive project, we invited Paula Walden, a contemporary jeweller and accessories designer, to respond to Patrick Ogilvie‘s 1966 floral toque (a hat without a brim, or with a narrow brim). This item was selected from the Queensland Museum collection, where a number of Ogilvie’s hats can be found. Patrick Ogilvie was a prominent Brisbane-based milliner, who had a long and successful career operating from his popular Rowes Arcade boutique.
Paula says that she was initially attracted to Ogilvie’s use of the floral motif and the hat’s rich pink hues. In particular, she was inspired by the way Ogilvie’s hat is constructed by piecing together “smaller floral motifs to create a whole”. This resonates with Paula, as she says “the same concept can be applied personally, as being a jewellery designer with a fashion consciousness or perception, I see it as my task to create jewellery / accessories that are seen in unison with the entire fashioned body”.
Paula notes that the hat is exemplary of 1960s style, but “offers a timeless attraction as the toque style references present-day hat forms”.
She chose to remember Ogilvie’s work by re-creating it closely, albeit with a new selection of materials. “The difference lies within using an orchid petal form, however – and of course it’s black. Using a pill-box form as its infrastructure, the orchid petal forms hand-sewn atop are made from a mixture of plastic and textured papers. The reason for this is that the softness of paper lends itself to the softness of the organza floral motifs utilised in the Ogilvie hat”.
While Paula has chosen to emulate Ogilvie’s hat quite faithfully in terms of its silhouette and structure, her choice of everyday materials signifies a shift away from Ogilvie’s original which was created from luxurious materials and designed to be worn to a formal social event. This choice illustrates the changing role of millinery and the move away from the social prescriptions of dress that were integral to Ogilvie’s success.
Published in Issue 1, on August 27, 2013.