1950s made in Brisbane : Italian tailors and the continental suit

Ferrero-Regis, Tiziana (2014) 1950s made in Brisbane : Italian tailors and the continental suit. Clothing Cultures, 1(3), pp. 197-212.

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During the 1950s and 1960s, when the French couturiers Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Chanel dominated the fashion industry, the Italian community in Brisbane, Australia, was very active in the local industry through retail, dress-making and tailoring. Australia is geographically at the margins of the developed countries and has been dependent on European trends and taste. In the 1950s, communication was based on magazines and especially newsreels and film; each ethnic group dressed as they liked and according to their custom. Moreover, ‘Made in Italy’ was not yet the prestigious concept that revolutionized ready-to-wear design from the 1970s. However, Italian tailors and demi-couturiers brought to Brisbane their trans-national sense of elegance (the Italian style) and the taste in fashion that influenced new generations in England and elsewhere in Europe from the 1950s. They brought quality and workmanship, offering excellence through the use of quality fabrics from prestigious English and Italian brands. These tailors and dress-makers also contributed towards the local industry through passing on the skills that they brought from Italy. This article is based on a project that seeks to understand the connection between fashion, history and place. The area under examination is the Valley, short for Fortitude Valley, an area adjacent to the Brisbane CBD. Fundamental to this connection between place and fashion was the presence of many Italian migrants in the area. Through archival research and oral history, the aim of this ethnographic project is to bring to the fore an untold story about the economic and aesthetic contribution of Italian migrants to Queensland. Central to the understanding of this aesthetic change is the Italian suit. This research is innovative in that it opens a new area of study in Australian fashion history, connected to the history of migrants and their identity.

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ID Code: 78386
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australian fashion;; , Brisbane’s fashion;, Italian fashion, Italian suit;, ethnography, Italian migrants;
DOI: 10.1386/cc.1.3.197_1
ISSN: 2050-0742
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Intellect Ltd Editorial
Deposited On: 04 Nov 2014 22:22
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2015 04:40

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