The New Look: 1960s Fashion in Melbourne

No title - Athol Shmith

27 April–27 May

This exhibition showcases the fabulous exuberance and innovation of 1960s Australian women’s fashion, through a vibrant selection of garments, accessories and fashion photography by Bruno Benini, Athol Shmith and Henry Talbot.

A fresh new look emerged in Australian fashion during this exciting decade of cultural and social change, with a new generation of fashion designers influencing the youth fashion and culture of this period. Garments and accessories by diverse Melbourne labels and fashion designers, including Prue Acton, Norma Tullo, Mr Simon, Sharene Creations, Miss Hartnell and Hartnell of Melbourne are featured providing a rich insight into the evolution of Australian fashion and the groundbreaking fashion styles such as the mini dress that symbolise the 1960s.

Curator Diane Soumilas.

Athol Shmith
No title (Fashion illustration, Woman with double bass) 1960s
Gelatin silver photograph. 50 x 38.8 cm (image)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by the Shmith Family, Governor, 1995 (1995.150)
©The Estate of Athol Shmith, Licensed by Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art


Bruno Benini
No title (Fashion illustration Model Susie Cuthbert) 1966 printed 1998 (detail)
Gelatin silver photograph
53.5 x 50.3 cm (image)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased 1998 (1998.352)
Courtesy of the Bruno Benini Estate

Floor talks

Nicole Jenkins — author and collector
Friday 4 May at midday

Join award-winning author of books Style is Eternal and Love Vintage Nicole Jenkins for a discussion about her passion for collecting vintage fashion and the selected garments and accessories from the 1960s included in the exhibition. Book here

Diane Soumilas — curator
Friday 11 May at midday

Join Gallery Co-ordinator/Curator Diane Soumilas for an engaging talk about the exhibition and an insight into the evolution of 1960s fashion in Melbourne during this vibrant decade of cultural and social change. Book here

Lesley Sharon Rosenthal — writer and documentary filmmaker
Friday 18 May at midday

Lesley Sharon Rosenthal will provide a fascinating insight into the fashion and clothing precincts of Flinders Lane, Collins Street and Chapel Street during the 1960s. Lesley will entertain you with stories and images about some of Melbourne’s innovative fashion designers and boutique owners who emerged during the swinging 60s. Book here

Brian Samuel  Director of Melbourne Fashion Label Miss Hartnell (1965–1973)
Tom McEvoy —  Fashion Historian and Photographer
Friday 25 May at 12.30pm

Join local resident Brian Samuel and Tom McEvoy for a discussion about the vibrant and creative fashion scene in Melbourne in the 1960s, Brian Samuel’s innovative fashion label Miss Hartnell, the family business Hartnell of Melbourne and the clothing industry in Flinders Lane. Book here

Gallery hours

Monday to Friday, 10am–5pm.
Weekends, 1pm–5pm.
Closed public holidays.

The Gallery is wheelchair accessible.
There is also accessible parking in the car park.
Public transport: tram route 64, bus route 623


Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield 3162  View Map

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