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Aspects in Fashion

From Sep

Australian films from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia with insights into a diverse range of fashion principles including design, manufacturing and innovation.

This fashion retrospective reveals many labels and styles which have had a long lasting effect on the industry. From Mark Foys iconic department store to textiles entrepreneur Fletcher Jones, fantastic hair, hats and fashion models in the making! This package of films covers an eclectic range of fashion principles including in-depth documentaries focussing on contributors to the Australian fashion, design and manufacturing industries.

  • Australian Designers show their talents [excerpt from Australian Diary No. 007]

    1947, 1min 49 sec, Jack S. Allan (director), Australian National Film Board

    We take a look back at some Australian designs from 1947. Woollen suits, sporty tennis outfits, debutantes gowns, plastic high-heeled shoes! hats and bridal wear are all paraded in this high-end extravaganza of Australian style. Source: NFSA Film Australia Collection

    Betty Viazim

    1982, 40 mins 31 sec, Daro Gunzburg (director), Film Australia

    In 1922 at the age of 13, Betty Viazim began her apprenticeship as a milliner with Mark Foys, Sydney's premier fashion department store. She was the last apprentice to be trained in the old methods of hat making, before electric sewing machines revolutionized the millinery trade. In this film she talks about her adolescence working at Mark Foys and what it was like to be a young woman growing up in Sydney in the first half of the 20th Century. When hats went out of fashion in the 1960s Betty turned her considerable skills towards theatre and films. She is credited with designing the headwear in the Australian films 'Careful, He Might Hear You' (1983) and 'For Love Alone' (1986). In 1981 Betty was awarded The Order of the British Empire Medal (Civil) for services to the Performing Arts. [Source: NFSA Film Australia Collection National Interest Program]

    Coneheads and Coconuts: Hairdressing Convention Newcastle c1950 [home movie]

    Circa 1950, 16 mins 52 sec, Gordon Edwards (cinematographer)

    One of several films in a collection of 16mm silent home movies shot by Newcastle resident Gordon Edwards. Employed as a cameraman for a local television station, Gordon's amateur film documents some of the more outrageous hairdressing styles and fashions at a hairdressing convention in the 1950s.

    Fabric of a Dream: the Fletcher Jones Story

    2006, 51 mins 54 sec, Dennis K. Smith (director), Film Australia, Melodrama Pictures, SBS Independent

    An inspiring man with bold and imaginative ideas, Fletcher Jones was influenced by Japanese reformer Toyohiko Kagawa, one of the most remarkable social activists of his time. Jones established his clothing design, retail and manufacturing business with an emphasis on quality, service and innovation. However, his primary concern was for people - both his customers and his workers - and they, in turn, were intensely loyal. This is a celebration of the man and his dream - of a model working environment based on values other than simple profit - set against the backdrop of 20th Century history. [Source: NFSA Film Australia Collection National Interest Program]

    Hairdressing  Competitions: Melbourne Town Hall 1968

    1968, 29 min 23 sec, George Sullivan (cinematographer)

    This short clip was originally filmed on standard 8mm by George Sullivan at the International Hair Stylists Society of Australia Championship at Melbourne Town Hall. The hair models are shown as they are judged and inspected by the committee members. Sullivan made several films documenting the hair industry in Australia. His film collection was donated to the NFSA by Alan Wickes, who was part of the International Hair Stylists Society of Australia from 1961-1988. [Courtesy: Alan Wickes]

    Mannequins in the making [excerpt from Australian Colour Diary No. 024]

    1965, 2 min 52 sec, Jack S. Allan (director), Australian National Film Board

    Filmed between 1957 and 1971, the Australian Colour Diary series records how Australians have lived, worked and played over the years. This model school helps develop poise and personality and each pupil soon learns the difference between correct dressing and overdressing!

    Three-Way hat is novel fashion [excerpt from Australian Diary No. 039]

    1950, 1 min 37 sec, Jack S. Allan (director), Australian National Film Board

    Already having designed hats worn by the Hollywood set including actress Vivien Leigh and renowned gossip columnist of the day - Hedda Hopper - the Queen's own milliner also gives John some high praise. Here we see John's latest design, an innovative hat that can be worn in three different ways.

    Unfolding Florence: the many lives of Florence Broadhurst

    2006, 1 hour 22 min, Gillian Armstrong  (director), Film Australia, Becker Entertainment, NSWFTO, SBS Independent

    Almost everyone thinks they know who I was and, of course, everyone thinks they know who killed me. A celebration of the life of flamboyant Australian design pioneer Florence Broadhurst, this highly original documentary explores the many lives of one larger-than-life woman.

    Acclaimed director Gillian Armstrong "unfolds" Broadhurst's story from her birth, in 1899, into a farming family in outback Australia, to 1920s Shanghai, where she ran her own performing arts academy, to the fashion scene of 1930s London, and to her painting tours of northern and central Australia in the early 1950s. In her last incarnation, as a designer and manufacturer of wallpapers, Broadhurst produced high-quality, handcrafted wallpapers in luxurious, oversized patterns with vivid combinations of colours, inspired by an eclectic range of sources. More than 100 years after her birth, her work has been rediscovered by the world's leading fashion, interior and homeware designers and her prints are in huge demand internationally.

    Broadhurst was brutally murdered on 15 October 1977 at her Paddington premises; and the killer has never been identified. Broadhurst was renowned for her flamboyant clothes, antique jewellery and coiffed, hennaed hair. "Unfolding Florence" explores her life in a vibrant and unconventional style, with more than a touch of humour and irreverence; a fitting approach to this unusual woman's story. Cast includes Judi Farr (as Florence) and Felicity Price (as the young Florence).