MARKETS COME AND GO, JUST LIKE FASHION AND GREY CLOUDS
Markets full of colourful clothing and accessories might not be everyone’s idea of a social event to attend, but dedicated fashionistas in Canberra and beyond religiously attend to be seen with the good textile curators and great designers of the period. To shine with others at a summer party venue is a fun way to promote cultural ideas and social cohesion.
To prepare yourself for this mammoth event, Ladies and gentlemen, your next task is to go to the wardrobe and count the number of items you have in it. Fashion historian, Fiona Baverstock says, that according to Britain’s Daily Mail, a woman only needs 37 items of clothing and stylist Wendy Mak makes it just 30 items of clothing. She says a man needs 32 items of clothing or, if you can believe one UK newspaper, just 17 items.* If you have less than 37 (or 30) items you might be able to find the missing item(s) at a themed pop-up stall in your local city.
Last year Canberra played host to the WOMEN OF EMPIRE EXHIBITION 1914-1918. This period themed exhibition was held at the National Film & Sound Archives in Canberra (Saturday 6 January to Sunday 14 January 2018). This was Canberra’s chance to see the internationally acclaimed exhibition dedicated to the women of WWI. The exhibition has travelled around Australia and New Zealand for the past three years and has been seen by well over half a million people so far. ++
Husband and wife duo Keith and Fiona Baverstock own Seams Old Vintage and Antique Fashion in Eddington, in rural Victoria. They have a passion for collecting vintage clothes. They travelled around Australia selling antique wares at markets to fund their World War I exhibition.**
“Everything goes in cycles, all you need is a certain future princess or a well-known actress to wear some vintage and it is popular again.
Fiona Baverstock is a private collector and social historian who has dedicated her life to preserving the stories of these women by combining their collections of stunning early 20th century garments with story banners. The Baverstocks recreated the uniforms and wrote all the story boards including of two women – an Australian woman and a Turkish woman – who saw the bloodied landings at Gallipoli from different hospital bases. +++
Curator Keith Baverstock says the exhibition took the viewer into the lives of 30 Australian women, and one or two New Zealand women. With 134 individual items on display, the exhibition highlighted the social dressing and mores of the First World War period. Uniforms were displayed as well as gowns hand-picked by a wounded soldier and sent back to his wife in Australia.
The Baverstock’s second exhibition is on the Homecoming (after 1918). It covers some of the men and women who fought in the First World War and were then re-united in Australia and New Zealand with their loved ones.^
The Baverstocks have hosted a number pop-up fairs selling other vintage wear in Canberra. There are now a range of markets and fairs in Canberra selling vintage and retro clothing. The next period fair scheduled in Canberra is the Canberra Modern Market at University House, Australian National University on Sunday 14 April 2019 from 10am-3pm.
These markets are part of the ACT Heritage Festival using the theme of ‘SPACE’. It is almost 50 years since the first landing on the moon, and Canberra is celebrating its achievements in contributing to this historic moment in 1969 by hosting a range of activities over several months.
Canberra Modern Market is curated by Mel O’Brien who used to run the 360 Market, held occasionally on a Sunday at the Fitters Workshop in Kingston, Canberra. The market mantra is ‘Style your Personal Space’. Mel O’Brien says “the aim is to bring your best post-war panache with a market stall styled with goodies (including) Mid Century Modern Flair”.
The weather forecast for that weekend is rain, rain and more rain, so we trust the organizers have space-themed raincoats, Wellington boots and umbrellas for public use. It should be a fun day out to enjoy the autumnal weather with guided tours of the University House running four times a day.
Text written by Fiona Rothchilds with quotes from Keith and Fiona Baverstock and Mel O’Brien.
Photos and images uploaded 2 April 2019.