Telling Untold Stories- The Fashion Archives
The ARI Remix collective would like to acknowledge with gratitude the groundbreaking work of The Fashion Archive’s researchers and project leaders Madeleine King and Nadia Buick. In particular for their support for this artist-run focused Living Archives project during the past two years and for their elegant online publication mapping archival resources about the histories of Queensland fashions and fashion designs.
Perhaps one of the most distinctive qualities of 1980’s Brisbane was it’s melting pot aspect. Artists and designers reclaimed the city, its then affordable though short lived inner CBD studios and empty spaces in the lead up to side spread demolition in preparation for Expo 88. The cross pollination between “sectors”, the interdisciplinary impulse of the arts, culture, design, media, music, venues, clubs, popular culture, events scene was, and still is palpable.
DIY culture had taken Brisbane by storm, small scale artist-runs and small design houses were prospering.
Design houses including 2 D Design Belltower, Maria Cleary Design, Anna Bourke, Different Tangents, Glamourpussy to name a few.
In the era when high art, popular culture and mass culture merged in unprecedented ways, when UK and US based fashion magazines like ID, Blitz, The Face, Interview and Manipulator were easily available through import distributors this cargo cult of imported magazines, books and zines was one reasonably affordable and pre-internet means to tap into the global zeitgeist.
Fashion was also a motif borrowed from high culture and explored as the subject of artist’s works at the time including the image above by artist Hiram TO from his Photo Booth series and in exhibitions during the period including the 1985 Institute of Modern Art’s, Brisbane Hot group show. While this distinctive interrelationship between Brisbane art, design and fashion is not unpacked in detail in The Fashion Archives we will examine some of these influences here in this archival artist-run project.
The aim is to grow and add to this fabulous fashion eresource and indeed to the knowledge base about the measure of direct collaborations between 1980’s Brisbane art, design, fashion and popular culture exponents when the postmodern credo embraced by many contemporary artists and designers living and working in Queensland at the time was “Anything Goes”.
PHOTO: Hiram TO
Photo Booth Series (1989-89)
Acrylic on canvasboards
Read more about artist Hiram To>
The Fashion Archives is an online publication created by Madeleine King and Nadia Buick that reveals the untold story of Queensland fashion. The Fashion Archives is the destination for original, curated and commissioned content from some of the state’s most illustrious collections, designers, artists, historians and industry leaders.
The Fashion Archives gives you unprecedented access to museum storerooms, library archives, historic houses, artists’ and designers’ studios, private wardrobes, and personal stories.
New and original content will help you discover places, people, objects and histories you’ve never encountered, and our specially crafted features let you rediscover familiar sights and fond memories. The old is made new by contemporary designers and writers looking to reimagine Queensland’s fashion heritage.
The Fashion Archives asks: does Queensland have a distinctive style?