Australia in the 1970s was ‘the most creative place in the world’ stated the acclaimed shoe designer Manolo Blahnik. He was referring to the fashion and art worlds created by the principal characters in this book, first in Melbourne and then in Sydney, in the1970s–90s. With limited material resources, an abundance of originality and style, and seemingly unlimited creative energy, a group of young people helped transform the cultural landscape of inner Sydney. They recast the image of Australian fashion, linked with fashion and identity politics, established the ‘look’ of the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras, and reclaimed the urban. How did they do it? Linking fashion, art, sexual politics and diverse urban subcultures, Sally Gray describes a restlessly creative, culturally influential group of friends and collaborators as they moved to and from Melbourne, Paris, Sydney, London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, New York, and places in between. Four friends in particular form her central narrative: fashion designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson and artists Peter Tully and David McDiarmid. Their creative trajectories and interactions, their collaborations, passion and politics, continue to resonate in the present.
Read the review by Judith Pugh in Artist Profile here