Dance and fashion joins at the ‘seam’

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Edwina McCann, left, and Karen Quinlan

THERE was a buzz of excitement this afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery as director Karen Quinlan joined “Vogue Australia” editor-in-chief Edwina McCann in front of a selfie wall at the opening of the new exhibition “Women in Vogue: Celebrating Sixty Years in Australia”.

To Quinlan, who said she’s been reading “Vogue” since she was young, it was exciting to be showing the public the 114 works which make up the show.

Divided into three parts —“Looking Back”, “Looking Out” and “Looking Forward” — the exhibition, she said, covered the whole 60 years of the magazine’s life.

But for McCann’s part, she and her staff had cause to thank the Portrait Gallery and its collaborator, the National Gallery of Victoria, because they’d lost a great part of their archives in a major fire and it was only the hard work of the curators which had made it possible to see the work on show.

“Seamless” at Floriade Fringe, 2017.

And, McCann had been reliably told that Nicole Kidman and Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech were both “so thrilled” to be on show in a national institution.

Meantime, the director of learning and visitor experience at the NPG, Karen Vickery, emailed “CityNews” saying that Alison Plevey’s company Australian Dance Party work “Seamless” — their response to the fashion industry — would play alongside the launch of the exhibition to the public

It’s a re-imagining by dancers Plevey, Ryan Stone and Eliza Sanders of their original work on the subject, in which they explore the style and joy of fashion, along with its less glamorous sides such as image obsession, resource exploitation and unethical production that remain rife in this “fast” industry.

“Women in Vogue: Celebrating sixty years in Australia”, National Portrait Gallery, October 11 to November 24. And, Australian Dance Party in “Seamless”, 5.30pm and 6.30pm Friday, October 11, noon and 2pm, Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13. 


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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