Clothes encounters
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Clothes encounters

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Margaret Whitlam with their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo on 26 October 1973. National Archives of Australia A6135
Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Margaret Whitlam with their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo on 26 October 1973. National Archives of Australia A6135

 

What would you wear to meet a president, a princess or The King?

This exhibition features ten clothes encounters – stories exploring the clothing worn or created by a diverse range of Australians, from different eras and walks of life, in response to significant political, creative and social encounters in their lives. 

Drawn from the Powerhouse Museum collection, this exhibition is a reminder that the fashion and dress choices we make reflect our aspirations and identity, and more broadly form part of a society’s cultural expression. Clothes can define a moment in time.

Fashion speaks about us, for us and to us. It communicates social changes and social cohesion: it is a system of representation which inhabits the world of dreams, ideas and aspirations yet simultaneously embodies the material nature of history.
Margaret Maynard, dress historian