Exhibition News

Grand Marnier/Powerhouse Museum Fashion of the Year 2002 selection announced.

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Published Thursday, November 28, 2002

Australian and international fashion labels, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Junya Watanabe, Easton Pearson, Roy and Marcs featured on the catwalk last night (Wed 27 Nov) at the Grand Marnier/Powerhouse Museum Fashion of the Year 2002 launch at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Established in 1991, the annual Grand Marnier/Powerhouse Museum Fashion of the Year draws together a panel of discerning fashion commentators and Powerhouse Museum representatives to select the designers, outfits and accessories that represent the most influential fashion themes and trends for 2002.

The Fashion of the Year advisory panel for 2002 included an impressive array of experts from the Australian fashion industry including: Kirstie Clements, Editor and Gabriele Mihajlovski, Fashion Director, Vogue Australia; Jane de Teliga, Fashion and Style Director, The Australian Women’s Weekly; Alison Veness-McGourty, Editor and Jane Roarty, Fashion Director, Harper’s Bazaar; as well as representatives from the Powerhouse Museum - Jennifer Sanders, Deputy Director and Glynis Jones, Curator, Decorative Arts and Design.

Fashion of the Year curator, Glynis Jones, commented that this year’s selection seemed to reflect the way designers were responding to an unsettled political landscape. “While we are accustomed to fashion’s seasonally changing trends, the outfits selected for this year’s Fashion of the Year ranged through such colour and mood extremes it left even the most experienced fashion editors and retailers surprised!

The selection ranges from darkly romantic and sexy neo-gothic looks to a white palette of global travellers and ethereal wistful flower-child dresses; and from frayed and faded denim to 70s Australian surf culture, Glynis said.

As major partner in Fashion of the Year since 1998, Grand Marnier's sponsorship enables the Museum to continue to develop an exemplary collection of fashion by assisting with the acquisition of the outfits each year.

The 2002 selection is now on display at the Powerhouse Museum until November 2003. The selection will then become part of the museum’s permanent collection, which forms the basis of exhibitions, research and publications on contemporary international and Australian fashion.

The five designers represented in the Grand Marnier/Powerhouse Museum Fashion of the Year 2002 are:

Easton Pearson
For the third year in a row the Brisbane design duo of Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson have been selected for Fashion of the Year, reflecting their place as Australia’s leading fashion innovators. Easton Pearson’s ‘one world’ designs are inspired by cross-cultural fashion and textile traditions, and feature a melting pot of eastern and western, traditional and modern silhouettes and embellishment. For Easton Pearson, India’s rich textile history has been a major source of inspiration, but this year they have added a strong African character.

Marcs’ menswear first captured attention in the 1980s with its use of female dress fabrics for shirts. The label continues to present menswear which is assuredly masculine yet elicits a gentler more complex image of manhood. CEO Mark Keighery oversaw the introduction of the younger funkier Marcs Baby Doll label in 2001; the latest collection captured perfectly the hippy-chic mood with its floaty feminine, flower-child looks. Outfits from both the Marcs and Marcs Baby Doll labels were selected.

Melbourne-based designer Roy Christou established his menswear label in 1998, designing clothes with a sexy, insolent streetwise edge. This year he included a companion womenswear range and both had a distinctly Australian flavour. The collection featured straight-legged jeans, jackets and grandpa shirts, inspired by the strict sartorial code of the 1970s teenage beach tribes - the ‘surfies’ and ‘surfie chicks’ featured in the book Puberty Blues. Two outfits from this collection were selected.

Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche
The Yves Saint Laurent autumn/winter collection was one of the most dramatic and influential shows of 2002, making the wistful floaty hippy-chic trend instantly redundant. Continuing with his favourite black palette, Ford presented an elegant, sophisticated collection, inspired by French 18th style which he referenced through lace, bows and billowing sleeves. In addition, Tom Ford created the Mombasa as the iconic handbag for Yves Saint Laurent. The bag is finely crafted from Buffalo leather and deer horn, shed naturally from the deer during its annual moulting.

Junya Watanabe
Watanabe is the consummate originator with collections that change dramatically from one season to the next. This year’s spring/summer collection featured frayed, pieced and distressed denim, evoking 1970s customised hippy denim but also denim’s American workwear roots. Unusual for Watanabe, pieces like this hit the trend spot with fitted denim jackets and pieced denim skirts now a must-have item on the high street.

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