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Pure Vintage Linda Jackson

January 30, 2012

Linda Jackson: Bush Couture. Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Federation Square, until Sept 9 2012

Alison, Linda Jackson and Cristopher Graf

The bush couture I chose for this occasion was an enormous wild raspberry coloured Gregory Ladner hat and a Romeo Gigli outfit of shot silk that was the colour of the underside of the tips of fresh gum leaf shoots.

By its very nature the demand for originality in fashion is certainly an understandable one, particularly here in Australia. In the mid-1970’s, when much of Australian fashion was plagiarised from the big names in London, Europe and America, Linda Jackson celebrated what was unique to Australia and developed a bold new fashion vision. She celebrated in fashion our very own colours and culture that presented a uniquely Australian identity to the world.

Alison and Effie YoungLinda Jackson was born in beachside Beaumaris in 1950s, into a family with a love of the beach, bush and ball room dancing with all its glitz and glamour. In her early twenties as a textile artist and painter, she travelled through the Pacific and Asia soaking up influences from a multitude of cultures ending up in Paris the fashion capital of the world.

Back in Australia in 1973 she met up with Jenny Kee and together they created the notorious Flamingo Park scene. Drawing on Australia’s natural landscape, Jackson began producing prints and dresses incorporating the Sturt’s desert pea, the red Waratah and the black Banksia to name but a few.

After attending the opening of Linda Jackson: Bush Couture at Ian Potter Centre last week, it was clear to see that Jackson’s work was a refreshing and unique statement in the development of Australian fashion. The Ian Potter Centre was a most perfect and appropriate venue for this iconic fashion exposition.

Jenny Kee, Anna Plunkett and Linda Jackson Photo Taken 2001

The 1970’s footage of the Flamingo Follies Fashion Parades shows the fabulous presentation of these unique clothes by tall, beautiful, slim models with attitude and fantastic legs, with a confidence and presentation style that was quite amazing. To me Jackson’s clothes are like jazz improvisation, a cacophony of vibrant colours that simply sing.

Left -Photo by Fran Moore - Right Photo by John Hoerner

Jackson says of  her “Bush Couture” that  her clothes are infinitely versatile. You  can add too, take off as you need , jump around in, climb trees, roll them up in a swag, go swimming then put bits on again as you need them,  but to me its more catwalk than Kathmandu.

Photograph Above Left: Linda Jackson wearing Wildflowers 1976 – Photo: Fran Moore © Linda Jackson & Fran Moore.

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