Spring in Dunedin, or what’s on in September as well as September’s Unbound symposium

Lou Rogers, Tearing Off the Bonds, “Modern Woman” column from The Judge, c 1912-13. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lou Rogers, Tearing Off the Bonds, “Modern Woman” column from The Judge, c 1912-13. Source: Wikimedia Commons

With less than three months to the symposium now, plans are firming up nicely, as are registrations. Announcements on keynote speakers, the programme, and the exhibition are coming soon, but before you book your travel, you might like to know what else you should allow time for. Below, some details of the exhibitions planned by our big three – Otago Museum, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, and advance notice of a serendipitously on-theme NZ exclusive Otago Arts Festival production. We’ll post more information and links as information becomes available.

There will be other exhibitions at smaller galleries and archives around town, details yet to come. Other activities around the time are Christine Keller’s weaving workshop, offered in response to requests at last year’s symposium – places are strictly limited, but we look forward to seeing some of the finished work at the symposium.


Dunedin Public Art Gallery has just announced Space Suit. Curated by Lucy Hammonds, this exhibition looks at contemporary sculpture and installation in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection to consider the changed (or unchanged) role of fabric and textiles in recent artistic practices.Ronnie van Hout Spacesuit 1996 Jim Barr and Mary Barr Collection

Ronnie van Hout
Jim Barr and Mary Barr Collection


Dunedin Public Art Gallery – Space Suit

The art gallery is a couple of blocks from Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, which in September opens Suffrage & beyond: 1893 – 2018, which looks back to the events of 1893 and at aspects of progress and change in the lives of New Zealand women over the ensuing 125 years.

Closer to the symposium, the Otago Museum is marking its own significant milestone: 150 years since its foundation. The celebrations will include Est. 1868, featuring highlights from the Museum’s significant collections, including some of its textile treasures.

Beloved Muse TileThe symposium weekend is also the opening of the Otago Arts Festival. While the full programme has yet to be announced, we can offer a heads-up on Beloved Muse, which is right up the symposium alley, being a one-woman show on the life of early 20th century Viennese fashion designer, Emilie Flöge. Presented by Maxi Blaha and written by British playwright Penny Black, the show at Dunedin’s beautiful Savoy is a New Zealand exclusive for the festival.

More announcements to come.

CTANZ Symposium 2018




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Children of Mallarmé: Fashion, Art & Collaboration – new exhibition

The Tauranga Art Gallery has recently opened a new exhibition entitled Children of Mallarmé: Fashion, Art & Collaboration.

The exhibition is named after Stéphane Mallarmé, a Symbolist poet who published a spirited journal on fashion cum art project entitled La Dernière Mode in 1874. Drawing on the spirit of Mallarmé, the curators highlight collaborations between New Zealand and Australian fashion designers and visual artists over the past three decades.

Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Disturbances of Motion, 2003. Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Hydrogen Bomb Explosion Zones, 2003. WORLDman, Off the Handle Blazer and By Ear Trouser, Spring Summer 2016/2017. Reuben Paterson, The Erotic Champions of the World (I and II) (details), 2009/10.

Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Disturbances of Motion, 2003. Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Hydrogen Bomb Explosion Zones, 2003. WORLDman, Off the Handle Blazer and By Ear Trouser, Spring Summer 2016/2017. Reuben Paterson, The Erotic Champions of the World (I and II) (details), 2009/10. Photo: Tauranga Art Gallery

The collaborators include Workshop with John Reynolds; Doris de Pont with John Pule, Richard Killeen and Tracey Williams; WORLD with Reuben Paterson; Jimmy D with Andrew McLeod; and the Australian duo Romance Was Born with Nell and Jess Johnson.

Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Disturbances of Motion, 2003. Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Hydrogen Bomb Explosion Zones, 2003. WORLDman, Off the Handle Blazer and By Ear Trouser, Spring Summer 2016/2017. Reuben Paterson, The Erotic Champions of the World (I and II) (details), 2009/10.

Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Disturbances of Motion, 2003. Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Hydrogen Bomb Explosion Zones, 2003. WORLDman, Off the Handle Blazer and By Ear Trouser, Spring Summer 2016/2017. Reuben Paterson, The Erotic Champions of the World (I and II) (details), 2009/10. Photo: Tauranga Art Gallery

The exhibition has been curated by Peter Shand, Head of Elam Visual Arts, Creative Arts and Industries at Auckland University,  and Karl Chitham, the director of TAG. It runs until September 16, 2018.


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Fashion Matters: fashion, art and society with Dr Peter McNeil – lecture series

Fashion Matters: fashion, art and society with Dr Peter McNeil

The Friends of Te Papa are offering lovers of fashion history a wonderful treat this year. They have enticed Dr Peter McNeil to deliver a series of six lectures in Wellington over the next few months under the umbrella of Fashion matters: fashion, art and society.






Peter is a highly regarded fashion historian and currently Professor of Design History at University of Technology, Sydney. He was a key player in the development of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s sensational exhibition Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015 which is on at the Museum of Applied Sciences & Arts in Sydney.

We hope members of CTANZ will be able to join us for some of Peter’s lectures.

Art + Fashion – the first lecture, Friday the 13th!

Auspiciously, Peter’s lecture series kicks off on Friday 13 July 5.30 – 7.15 pm with Art + Fashion, the theme of which has been chosen for the closing weekend of Te Papa’s exhibition Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists. In this lecture, Peter will explore the twining of art and fashion from the middle ages to now.






Fashion & Textiles: Eden to Edo

On Friday 24 August 5.30 – 7.15 pm, Peter explores the many ways in which the world fashion is bound up with botanical knowledge.

A WOW Weekend – two lectures in October

During WOW you can enjoy a double dose of fashion history with High Heel Heaven on Saturday 6 October, 10:30 am12pm, followed by Pretty gentlemen on Sunday 7 October, 10:30 am12pm. In Pretty Gentlemen, Peter celebrates the hipsters of the late 18th century. These dashing young men in their tight suits, clashing colours, and high wigs, are the subject of Peter’s latest book, also titled Pretty Gentlemen.

Revolutionary fashion

On Sunday 11 November, 3.30 to 5pm, Peter explores the tumult of fashion before and after the French Revolution, including the ‘Incredible’ and ‘Marvellous’ ones, the Incroyables and Merveilleuses, who emphasised the theatricality of fashion and wore some of the most extreme fashion ever seen.

A touch of inter-war magic

The series ends with Magic fashion on Sunday 9 December, 3:30 pm5pm. In this lecture Peter focuses on the creative circles of fashion and design in inter-war Paris, including fashion, fantasy and surrealism, which of course means Elsa Schiaparelli!

A discount for the dedicated

Tickets Friends of Te Papa $20, non-members $25, students $15. If you sign up for ALL six lectures you save $30.

The ticket price includes a glass of wine and parking at Te Papa.

Book your seats through the Friends of Te Papa website.


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Symposium registrations are open

Lou Rogers, Tearing Off the Bonds, “Modern Woman” column from The Judge, c 1912-13. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lou Rogers, Tearing Off the Bonds, “Modern Woman” column from The Judge, c 1912-13. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Registrations are now open for  September’s 2018 CTANZ symposium, Unbound: Liberating Women, in Dunedin, acknowledging Suffrage125 by celebrating the relationships between women, cloth and clothing. We’ll be making a few announcements between now and then, but for now, a reminder that the symposium features

  •  Nationally recognised keynote speakers
  • The usual range of passionate, informed and/or idiosyncratic papers presented by passionate, informed and/or idiosyncratic textile and dress aficionados
  • An accompanying exhibition, Unbound, opening on Friday 21 September, featuring responses to the work of Christine Webster’s Black Carnival series
  • In Otago Polytechnic’s The Hub, a venue that allows us to include a number of other activities and attractions to complement the symposium
  • An optional symposium dinner at New Zealand’s most famous Victorian castle. Which is partly on theme, with its nod to that significant Victorian-era development that was women’s suffrage, but mostly because Larnach Castle means delicious food in a stunning venue with spectacular views (and transport is included).

That will keep us all busy for the weekend, but we would be remiss in not recommending that you allow yourself some extra time because our local institutions are planning some great and relevant exhibitions around then. More to come on this too as they release their exhibition plans for the rest of the year. The symposium also coincides with the opening weekend of the Otago Arts Festival, which will include other on-theme events.

Some practicalities: between Wotif and Air BnB you should find a range of interesting accommodation options in Dunedin but to be within easy walking distance of Otago Polytechnic, look for north Dunedin locations.

Symposium 2018


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Threads that bind – Artefact

ARTEFACT_Threads That Bind_May-Ana Tirikatene-SullivanIf you haven’t yet watched Maori TV’s wonderful series Artefact, the good news is that it’s only half way through, it’s all online, and you really won’t want to miss the episode scheduled for 28 May, Threads that Bind.

May-Ana Tirikatene-Sullivan (above) introduces us to the politically significant wardrobe of her mother, the late Hon Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan; artists Tame Iti and Rosanna Raymond talk about  power dressing and style, and designer Kiri Nathan about her high-fashion label.

Tame Iti, gentleman of style

Tame Iti, gentleman of style

Rosanna Raymond, Backhand Maiden, at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rosanna Raymond, Backhand Maiden, at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

Kiri Nathan working on a garment

Kiri Nathan working on a garment

Each has a considered conversation with the series presenter, Dame Anne Salmond, about how heritage and modern techniques work together to make their  statements. And there are lots of gorgeous shots of the garments and objects in question. And Veranoa Hetet talking weaving, and the Soldiers Rd Portaits studio. If you missed it, that’s what on demand is for.

Artefact is on Maori TV on Mondays, 8.30 or online on demand http://www.maoritelevision.com/tv/shows/artefact

Images supplied by Maori Television.


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Exhibition roundup

From Auckland to Dunedin, there are exhibitions opening, closing and continuing over the next few months. Here’s a selection (and there are more – let us know), starting with what’s finishing first.

In Wellington, this is the last week of Native Eye, a selection of photographs by Māori fashion designer and artist Suzanne Tamaki, displayed in large-scale lightboxed on Courtney Place. Curated by Reuben Friend, the lightboxes feature art-fashion garments and fashion photographs inspired by Māori interpretations of Western concepts such as feminism, or mana wāhine.

Courtney Place Park, to 31 May

Native Eye

Suzanne Tamaki, Native Eye, Courtney Place Park, image courtesy Wellington City Council

Suzanne Tamaki, Native Eye, Courtney Place Park, image courtesy Wellington City Council

In Auckland, the Pah Homestead has just opened Living Cloth, Textile Works from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection, curated by Harriet Matilda Rogers, 2018 Wallace Arts Trust Summer Intern. One of a group of summer interns, Harriet’s assembled an exhibition celebrating textiles and the ways that they surround us in our everyday lives, looking at how contemporary NZ artists have used textile materials or techniques in their work, and exploring the cross-over between art, craft, and decorative arts. Most works come from within the last 10 years, but there are also sprinkling of important pieces by major artists such as Gordon Crook and Malcolm Harrison.

Pah Homestead, 22 May – 8 July

Living Cloth

Gordon Crook, Home Leave

Gordon Crook, Home Leave

Across town at Waitakere‘s Te Uru, textiles are among the media mix for Wellingon artist Erica van Zon’s Jade Tableau, part of a yearlong project of working with the colour green. Having printed images of Te Uru’s distinctive aluminium cladding onto silk, van Zon converts the Window Space into a surreal continuation of the building; inside the gallery, van Zon offers a range of media from beading and embroidery to steel work printed silk, whose forms and arrangement adhere to the visual structure of the grid.

Te Uru Contemporary Gallery, 1 May – 3 July 2018

Jade Tableau

Erica van Zon, Jade Tableau. Image courtesy of Te Uru

Erica van Zon, Jade Tableau. Image courtesy of Te Uru

And back in Dunedin, word is getting out about Kawita Vatanajyankur’s installation, Performing Textiles, which was the work developed while she was in New Zealand in 2017 as part of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s Visiting Artist Programme. The works combine her body with techniques involved in manufacturing textiles, in a thoughtful, provocative and moving suite of images.

Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 5 May – 26 August

Performing Textiles

Kawita  Vatanajyankur, from Performing Textiles. Image courtesy of Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Kawita Vatanajyankur, from Performing Textiles. Image courtesy of Dunedin Public Art Gallery


If you’re nowhere any of these exhibitions, you may also like to check out the NZ Fashion Museum’s new online exhibition Remember the 80s: On the Edge, Over the Top. Those of us who were there might think the over the top thing’s a bit OTT itself  – but check it out for yourselves; you may have some classic 80s garments to add to the museum’s virtual collection as well.

Remember the 80s

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At the movies: festival season 2018

The NZ International Film Festival started releasing the 2018 programme this month, leading with Pietra Brettkelly’s Yellow is Forbidden. While NZ screening dates are yet to be confirmed,  Brettkelly’s documentary on Chinese designer Guo Pei has landed with a splash on the northern hemisphere festival circuit, and the trailer and advance press suggest it will live up to the anticipation. But still, with the NZIFF still a couple of months away, there’s plenty of screen style to build up to throughout the winter film season.

indexFirst up is this suave gentleman, Antonio Lopez, who features in Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion and Disco (2017, 95 minutes), at the 2018 Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival, which kicks off in May in Auckland. Puerto Rican by birth, raised in New York, Lopez became the “dominant fashion illustrator of the 1960s and 1970s”, hung around with Bill Cunningham and Karl Lagerfeld and the great muses of the age – Grace Jones, Jessica Lange, Jerry Hall.

The RADFF runs from early May in Auckland until July in Christchurch, and the Lopez doco will screen in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch so check your local showings and the overall programme here on their website.

RADFF 2018 programme

Another famous New York fashion identity, the inimitable Andre Leon Talley, is the subject of The Gospel According to André in the Documentary Edge festival in Auckland and Wellington during May.

Doc Edge details

For those in parts of the country that gets these later, there is a general release coming up at the Rialto of the Blahnik biopic, Manolo – The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards.

Manolo – The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards

Other designer documentaries to look out for include Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist and McQueen. There’s also another feature on the late photographer, Bill Cunningham, The Times of Bill. No word yet about whether these will be in the festival, but here’s hoping; otherwise they will be able to be tracked down online. (Another new English release looks promising: A Modernist tells the story of influential London menswear retailer John Simons and his effect on post-war youth culture.)

Fashion is also central to several of this year’s big feature films this year. The Phantom Thread, of course, was set in the fashion world. The Met ball is also integral to the plot of the upcoming Ocean’s 8. And then there are blockbusters that are simply feasts for frockies: think how much Black Panther‘s  style was analysed, while later in the year, Crazy Rich Asians will take us back to the world of Chinese couture customers.

Happy viewing, everyone.

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Ataahua Mahi – Beautiful Work


Fashion fans can see Simone Montgomery’s millinery on Display for Dunedin Fashion ID week.

See her work on display from 30 April – 6th May in two venues:

Mayer Shoes in Wall St Mall Dunedin – with thanks, Glen and Poppy

Fashion ID Hub in the Meridian Mall, with thanks, Tracey and Kris

Simone Montgomery shares some background on this project…


Ataahua Mahi – Beautiful Work

Hats, you either love them or you hate them, I have been in love with hats for a while and wistfully lament days gone past, whereby my Mother and Grandmother waxed lyrical about, “The days that you never left the house without gloves and a hat in place.”  My best family hat story is one from my Aunty, who an excellent storyteller, had the cousins in fits of laughter one day explaining about the exploits of the dreaded and battered Girls School Felt hat. One day on the way home, In a deluge, this particular hat was rotated  180 degrees, brim repositioned and became a very effective norwester.  I know, you had to be there, but we don’t seem to have many hat stories anymore.


I have become passionate and interested in fashion and vintage millinery over the last two years as I have developed a keen interest in Race Day High Fashion. It gladdens my heart to see the quality of millinery being made and worn at New Zealand and Australian Race Days.


Being a bit of a crafty DIYer, I started to make my hats, how hard can this be?  I rather mistakenly thought.  It has now become a bit of an enjoyable obsession. I have learned that the art of millinery not only involves expertise in material manipulation, it is also essential that you have an ‘eye’ for shape, colour and form for each hat and situation.  The assemblage on your head is a mini sculpture.


I wanted to develop a point of difference to my millinery, and this body of work inspired by my whakapapa embodies my investigations with the beautiful materials of Aotearoa.  Harakeke, paua, and nephrite.  The manipulations of these materials for the pure joy of ‘being pretty’  has been very satisfying; they are materials that I love, and they have a very strong aesthetic.


I am continuing to work with traditional millinery materials such as sinamay and straw; the sinamay has a dimensional strength that the harakeke does not. I have experimented with traditional and nontraditional materials (have you spotted the placemat hat, yet?) to form the base of the structure and then use the paua, harakeke, and nephrite as decorative elements.

The harakeke flowers are from Anita at Flaxation,  the harakeke lattice net is from  Sema at Artiflax, and the Paua from Ocean Shell, Riverton. 


I have a total of 10 pieces on display for Dunedin Fashion ID week 30 April – 6th May. Four at Mayer Shoes in Wall St Mall Dunedin – thank you, Glen and Poppy. The remaining six are at the Fashion ID Hub in the Meridian Mall, thank you, Tracey and Kris.

Simone Montgomery – Waitaha, Nagti Mamoe, Kai Tahu


We love to share  projects and exhibitions by CTANZ members, if you have something coming up that speaks to our membership, via fashion, art, dress, textile, history/herstory, adornment or research, get in touch!

Send me and email:  angela@mermaidspurse.org.nz

Please include relevant details, such as exhibition time frame and some contextual writing to share, photos with captions.

Posted in Artists, CTANZ people, Designers, Dunedin, Exhibitions, Fashion, Fashion festivals, Fashion week, Hats, History, Simone Montgomery | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waitangi textile lectures: April, July, September


Leading up to the exhibition X-Marks: Conversations in Cloth, opening at Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi in September, the museum is holding three talks by textile scholar and author Vivian Caughley at Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi Learning Centre.

The first, The Women of Rangihoua, will be Sunday 29 April at 2pm (free for Friends of Waitangi & Day Pass holders). Vivian’s talk will cover who the women of Rangihoua were and what they did together, with a focus on textiles.

The other talks will be:

  • Sunday 29 July about the King sisters and their samplers
  • Saturday 8 September about ‘Oreo’s’ ‘Sampler’, that unknown textile that was made and sent to the CMS in England, but no one knows who ‘Oreo’ was or what the ‘sampler’ looks like.


Posted in CTANZ people, Exhibitions, Heritage, History, lecture series, Lectures & Talks, Local events, Maori, Museums, Waitangi | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

iD is back 1-6 May

iD Dunedin 2018 Image_Luke Johnston and Emily Hlavac GreenThe packed schedule of Fashion Revolution week in Dunedin segues seamlessly (sorry) into the new-look iD week. Over recent years the big buzz in iD has increasingly been about Emerging Designers, and this year, it’s the main event over two nights at the Town Hall, with awards to be presented on Friday night. The Town Hall catwalk will be transformed to get the clothes and models closer to more of the audience. With over 40 collections by designers from 19 countries, it’s going to be stunning, the new layout will give everyone a fabulous view, and at time of posting, there were still tickets; see the iD site for details.

The Emerging Designers awards shows are complemented by a range of associated events, starting the weekend before with a talk on the history of the awards by iD chair, Otago Polytechnic’s fashion team leader, Dr Margot Barton at Dunedin Public Art Gallery (29 April, 1-2pm), and several opportunities from 30 April – 6 May to see entries, hear from the judges, and meet designers.

iD Apparel Mag Ad FINALWhile Emerging Designers is the ‘hero’ event for the week and accounts for quite a bit of the schedule, the range of complementary activities suggests that the organising team has been very, very busy. The public library will offer its popular fashion tours; there are exhibitions of fashion related art,  a range of food + fashion events and shopping opportunities, styling sessions and exclusive and special shows. If you’re missing the Railway Station production, you might like to consider instead Dunedin’s first Fashion for a Cure event on Saturday 5 May (featuring leading national designers) or Toitū te awa Toitū te whenua TOITŪ NGĀ WĀHINE on Tuesday 1 May (featuring Ngāi Tahu designers fusing fashion and traditional Māori performance at Toitū)  or ‘punk futurism’ at Human Apparel Expo 2018 or – look, there’s over 40 events on the schedule, something for everyone, it’s going to be massive.


Margot Barton talks to the ODT about the new look iD week and Emerging Designers shows

Images supplied by iD.



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