• The Cartier Brooch worn by Gabi Radinger

    The Cartier Brooch worn by Gabi Radinger

  • 60's fashion photographed by 21st century technology

    60's fashion photographed by 21st century technology

  • A glimpse of seamed stocking.....

    A glimpse of seamed stocking.....

  • Angela Reddy, NLA Director Anne-Marie Schwirtlich and Maree Rieksts

    Angela Reddy, NLA Director Anne-Marie Schwirtlich and Maree Rieksts

  • Annie Hart and Shannon Clark

    Annie Hart and Shannon Clark

  • Charne Esterhuizen, Ilana Davies and Melissa Swan

    Charne Esterhuizen, Ilana Davies and Melissa Swan

  • Deborah Thomas, Charlotte Smith, Kirstie Clements and Belinda Riding

    Deborah Thomas, Charlotte Smith, Kirstie Clements and Belinda Riding

  • Elizabeth Burness

    Elizabeth Burness

  • Eloise Bolton, Jessie Firth and Fiona Firth

    Eloise Bolton, Jessie Firth and Fiona Firth

  • Gabi Radinger and Anna Gray

    Gabi Radinger and Anna Gray

  • Gabrielle Hyslop

    Gabrielle Hyslop

  • Keren Nicholson, Lindsay Noone, Judith Dahl-Taylor and Lauren Brown

    Keren Nicholson, Lindsay Noone, Judith Dahl-Taylor and Lauren Brown

  • Rebecca Fabrizi and Svetlana Zazo

    Rebecca Fabrizi and Svetlana Zazo

  • Sofia Polak and Janette Lenk

    Sofia Polak and Janette Lenk

The Australian Women's Weekly: The First 50 Years

30 May 2014

I spotted a Pucci worn by Rebecca Fabrizi, a hand painted copy of the eponymous Mondrian style dress by Yves St Laurent worn by creator Jessie Firth, Gabrielle Hyslop’s knitted dungarees from London in the early 70’s and some back of the wardrobe finds that made the fashion soiree at the National Library of Australia a dress up occasion for fashion tragics of all persuasions.  And as fashion is an integral part of our lives to love it is to understand the vicissitudes of a market driven commodity.  Study it and you can see that stock market ups and downs parallel hemlines. Marvel at the developments in fabrics and industrial machinery that brought women out of the drudge of laundry into easy care fabrics and trace the significant events in our lives where what we wore was so important and you just begin to scrape the surface of the fashion story.

 The launch of The Australian Women’s Weekly Fashion: The First Fifty Years, at the National Library of Australia with all the good the bad and the OMG fashion we’ve thought chic at some time is a charming and beautifully researched book from the pages of the magazine that was our fashion bible. Deborah Thomas, with Kirstie Clements, has created a collectible fashion classic that for them must have been a labour of love and laughs

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It is a retrospective of the ridiculous, the glamorous, the chic; and the ever changing face of Australian fashion with clothes you could copy, knit, crochet or covet matched at the launch by a parade of fashions through the decades from Charlotte’s Smith extensive private fashion  collection. And what a collection! Initially inherited from an aunt she has added a formidable range of fashion that includes the mandatory ‘hat the bag and the gloves’ grandma wouldn’t leave the house without as well as a covetable collection of everything you wished you’d kept from your own fashion journey and more. Please that the NLA finds another reason for us to be able to delve into this collection of over 9,000 pieces for another chance to enjoy it.


Some of the clothes in both Smith’s collection and the book make you wonder how the dickens they became fashionable, some make you laugh because you wore them. And the one thing I’d buy if I could was the Cartier brooch worn by Gabi Radinger with its 6 carats of diamonds in a classic setting.
 The memories accompanied by Charlotte Smith’s commentary, and the fashion input of Thomas and Clements with a modern perspective from Fashfest’s Belinda Riding made this event such fun.  The book, Australian Women’s Weekly Fashion: The First Fifty Years is available at the NLA Bookshop.