Review: Strike a Pose

Kerces 20 July 2008

Strike a Pose at the National Archives is one of the hundred exhibitions making up the VIVID photography festival around the city until October 12.

The exhibition shows the evolving fashions in Australia of the 1960s and 70s, with mostly photos taken by government photographers as well as several interesting ones that were part of various wool promotion campaigns.

It was co-curated by SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin although, as one of the friends who came with me remarked, her input appears to have been fairly minimal – unless she helped choose the photos, the only sign of her help is the occasional, mostly non-sequitur comment added to the captions.

But the photos were interesting and I thought they did a great job showing the fashions in a social as well as sartorial context. There were a few stand out photos; my favourite was one showing a Japanese model at the Melbourne Cup in the late 60s and the horrified crowd around her. My male friend enjoyed the exhibition too, since the 70s were the age of ever-rising hems.

I had never been to the National Archives before, but I would thoroughly recommend having a look around the rest of the galleries as well.

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