Vogue Australia at 60

Elle Macpherson, Vogue Australia, March 1995. Photo: Andrew Macpherson. Image: Vogue Australia.

It’s spring in the southern hemisphere, and Australian Vogue is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The festivities kicked off in Canberra last week with the opening of Women in Vogue: Celebrating 60 years in Australia (at the National Portrait Gallery to November 24, 2019). A special anniversary issue of the magazine will hit newsstands in December.

Fernanda Ly, Akiima, Charlee Fraser, and Andreja Pejić on the cover of Vogue Australia, 2018
Fernanda Ly, Akiima, Charlee Fraser, and Andreja Pejić on the cover of Vogue Australia, April 2018. Photo: Patrick Demarchelier. Editor: Christine Centenara. Image: Vogue Australia.

The late Tania Mallet graced the cover of Vogue Australia’s first issue in spring, 1959. (Click the image for a history published for the magazine’s 55th anniversary.)

Vogue AU Spring Summer 1959
Tania Mallet on the cover of the inaugural issue of Vogue Australia, Spring/Summer 1959. Photo: Norman Parkinson. Image: Vogue Australia.

Vogue Australia editor Edwina McCann sits on the board of directors of the new Australian Fashion Council, and the magazine’s cover archive is a gallery of famous faces, especially Australians like Cate Blanchett.

Vogue Australia, January 2006
Cate Blanchett on the cover of Vogue Australia, January 2006. Photo: Richard Bailey. Image: Vogue Australia.

Vogue Patterns counts two Australians among its current designers: Rebecca Vallance and Nicola Finetti.

V1524 by Rebecca Vallance design on the cover of Vogue Patterns lookbook, Winter 2016
A Rebecca Vallance design on the cover of Vogue Patterns lookbook, Winter 2016. Image: Issuu.
V1587 by Nicola Finetti on the cover of the Vogue Patterns lookbook, Summer 2018
A Nicola Finetti design on the cover of the Vogue Patterns lookbook, Summer 2018. Image: Issuu.

Vogue Australia was still in its first decade when Butterick introduced two Aussies—Norma Tullo and Prue Acton—to its Young Designers line.

Butterick 5126 by Norma Tullo
Butterick 5126 by Norma Tullo (ca. 1968) Image: Etsy.
Butterick 5617 by Prue Acton (1969) Image: Etsy.

In the 1980s, Carla Zampatti and Frederick Fox both signed licensing deals with Style Patterns. The milliner to the Queen contributed more than one bridal design in classic Eighties style.

1980s dress pattern by Carla Zampatti - Style 4438
Style 4438 by Carla Zampatti (1986) Image: Etsy.
1980s Frederick Fox bridal hat pattern Style 1249 with the royal warrant
Style 1249 by Frederick Fox (1987)

In the 1990s, Richard Tyler briefly designed for Anne Klein. It’s possible that an Anne Klein pattern or two showcases Tyler’s work.

Nadja Auermann in Richard Tyler for Anne Klein, Vogue February 1995
Nadja Auermann in Richard Tyler for Anne Klein, Vogue, February 1995. Photo: Juergen Teller. Editor: Camilla Nickerson.
Australian model Gemma Ward in Junya Watanabe, 2005. Photo: Nick Knight
Australian model Gemma Ward in Junya Watanabe, 2005. Photo: Nick Knight. Image: SHOWstudio.
Vogue coverup photographed by Helmut Newton at Wanda Beach, Australia (May 1964)
Vogue coverup (Adolfo hat), Wanda Beach, Australia. Photo: Helmut Newton. Vogue, May 1, 1964.

Couturissime: The Mugler Connection

Alan Strutt, Yasmin Le Bon On Stage at the London Palladium, London, 1997; Evening Standard, October 31, 1997. Ensemble: Thierry Mugler, Chimera collection, haute couture fall/winter 1997-1998. Long sheath gown with scale-look body, feathers and horsehair embroidered with rhinestones, articulated golden bodice created in collaboration with Jean‑Jacques Urcun and Mr. Pearl.
Yasmin Le Bon in Mugler Fall 1997 couture. Photo © Alan Strutt. Image: Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal.

On now at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Thierry Mugler: Couturissime, another blockbuster curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, the force behind the museum’s 2011 Gaultier show. (A previous Mugler show wrapped at FIDM last year. For more see Suzy Menkes’ interview.) The catalogue design is by Paprika, who also designed the Gaultier catalogue.

Thierry-Maxime Loriot, ed. Thierry Mugler: Couturissime (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2019
Thierry-Maxime Loriot, ed., Thierry Mugler: Couturissime (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2019) Design: Paprika. Image: Phaidon.

Mugler himself never signed with Paris Originals, but there are still some Vogue patterns with a connection to the designer. The Dutch-born Mei Xiao Zhou (who, like Mugler, is a former ballet dancer) was hired by Laroche after six years as Mugler’s assistant in the 1990s.

Karen Mulder wears Mugler Spring 1997 couture on the cover of George magazine, February 1997. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Image: eBay.

Zhou designed two collections for Laroche in the early aughts, resulting in a handful of Vogue patterns, circa 2002. Even if the pattern envelopes downplay it, his designs for Laroche have a vampy futurism that gives them a Mugler-esque edge. For more see my post.

Mei Xiao Zhou for Guy Laroche Fall 2001 runway
Mei Xiao Zhou for Guy Laroche Fall 2001 runway. Images: firstVIEW.
Mei Xiao Zhou for Guy Laroche Fall 2001 runway
Mei Xiao Zhou for Guy Laroche Fall 2001 runway. Images: firstVIEW.
Guy Laroche advertising campaign, Fall 2001.
Guy Laroche advertising campaign (Mei Xiao Zhou for Laroche), Fall 2001. Image: jalougallery.com.