Sunday, May 14, 2017


First  Fair  Dinkum  Aussie  edition  of  fashion  magazine

Australia was represented and  exposed in many surprising ways in  this September 1984  first Down Under  edition  of the  American  fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar , recently obtained  by Little Darwin in a wild  shopping  spree .
There was  a  special  six  page  fashion shoot  by  Bob  Watson  of   Prime  Minister   Bob  Hawke , billed as  Australia's  leading sporting identity, our national  treasure  and a  top bloke ,  showing   him  dressed   as a   wild-eyed  Aussie Rules Footie  fan (Swans)  ,  playing with  a yacht  in  his  bathtub , posing   in  a  dressing gown , dressed in a rainbow coloured outfit  sporting  gumleaves while   hamming it up with a  Victa lawnmower ,   and  awkwardly  wielding  a  cricket  bat , seemingly  about  to  be hit  in  the head  by  a  bouncing   ball .  
On closer  examination , it turned out not  to be the dashing ,  fashionable PM  but the comedian Max  Gillies impersonating  Aussie Bob  , which  he  did  so  wonderfully  in  The  Gillies Report .  
 A disturbing  revelation  was that   the  2000  smart  Puccini   print  frocks worn  by   Qantas  hosties  for   10  years  were   literally going to  be  torn  to shreds  ,  reduced   to rags , because   the   style  was  considered  out  of  date .  

Believe it or not , it was  suggested the frocks could be turned into  a "floral cosy for the Sydney Opera House" .  Perhaps some of the  material was   recycled and turned  into  Budgie Smugglers , now worn by  a  tattered  and  torn  former  PM  ? 

A feature  article  headed   Hat  Heroes , tracing the wearing of  tit  for tats   down through the ages , somehow  linked  Queensland premier   Sir Joh  Bjelke-Petersen , American  cowboy hero  Hop-A-Long (sic)  Cassidy ,  singer  Slim Dusty   and  Molly  Meldrum , the latter  wearing  what appears to be  a  reject  Akubra .   Other eccentric   hatters  such  as  Susan  Sangster, former  Mrs  Peacock ,  and   sneering    Germaine   Greer , who  hated   headgear ,  featured  as  did  the Toorak  hairdresser and   socialite   Lillian  Frank. 

The Australian  film industry , with the above  MIchael Fitzjames    full  page  graphic ( Frank Thring  on the camel's  hump?),   was  reviewed  in  a provocative  article by  Denis Whitburn and there was  coverage by  Memory  Holloway of  another  Australian assault  by  eight  artists  on a  "sacred  New York institution "... the  Guggenheim  Museum   . 
That  attack included  photographs  of  "sombre " Melbourne  crowds  by Bill  Henson .The  others were Peter Booth , Dale Frank , John Nixon , Mandy Martin , Jan Murray, Susan Norrie   and  Vivienne  Shark  Le  Witt . 
Holloway wrote  that the  works   represented an urban view of Australia . There were no landscapes , not a koala or kangaroo, no  weeping  eucalypt in sight .In  each case  the paintings  were  fierce , sometimes  intentionally  tough.
"We are presented  with an intensely introspective view of the country . New Yorkers may be surprised  to see that these  artists  shun the  view of Australia  as the land of  tropical  swimming pools ,'working holidays', beer  and  prawns  as  in TV promotions by Paul Hogan .
" Instead they show us  splendour in the smallest  and  simplest of objects , how to discover  beauty in darkness  and to enjoy  what is near at  hand  rather  than  yearning  for what  is  far  away ."