Jenny Kee and
VAULT spoke to iconic Australian fashion designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson about being quintessentially Australian, ahead of their major survey Step into Paradise.
You’ve both had great success as fashion designers both individually, and as collaborators. How much has being Australian defined this success?
Well, we pioneered a style that was Australian. And it was very unselfconscious; it was a deep love of this country that inspired us having returned to Australia after our various travels, and that became the creative quest. It was about using what we have here.
No one cared about what was happening here [in the 1970s], so we were free to be as creative and as wild and as interested in this country and to show what inspired us to be here. That’s what we wanted to do.
It was Australian with no apologies. With cockatoos, and koalas, opals and waratahs. It was unabashedly Australian.
And our travels around the world, for me and for Jenny, informed us of the things that could be done. We came back here and thought, “Hey, our country is amazing. We’re going to do this, and we’ll make it work however we can.” The facilities to make unbelievable embroidery or something similar were not in this country, so we had to be creative with what we did.
And how did you find those people?
We made it happen. You found the people to work with and then the minute the word was out that we were doing beautiful work, then people came to us because everybody seemed to be wanting to be involved in something that .. Subscribe to read this article in full
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