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New Zealand Fashion Museum tells the El Jay story at Kirkcaldie’s


September 9, 2010/1.13

El Jay
El Jay
El Jay
El Jay
El Jay
El Jay

El JayLooking Terrific: the El Jay Story is currently on at Kirkcaldie & Stains on Lambton Quay, Wellington.
   This is the first of many exhibitions from the New Zealand Fashion Museum, an innovative format reinterpreting of what a museum is. With no traditional bricks and mortar housing a collection, the museum is on the move, showing New Zealand fashion to the masses, making fashion accessible and understandable.
   Curated by renowned fashion designer Doris de Pont, Looking Terrific: the El Jay Story showcases 30 vintage garments from the 1940s through to the 1980s by New Zealand fashion industry mæstro Gus Fisher and his label El Jay.
   Gus Fisher was a pioneer in the world of New Zealand fashion. He looked to the world of Paris couture, travelling each show season to bring back to New Zealand women his interpretation of European style under the El Jay label. He always believed in dressing women to ‘make them feel beautiful’.
   His relationships with the couturiers in Paris lead him and El Jay to become the New Zealand licensee for Christian Dior, cementing Gus Fisher in New Zealand fashion history.
   It is wonderful to be able to see these pieces in the flesh, each garment beautifully constructed, designed for a time when no fashion-conscious women would be seen wearing a day dress to an evening event. Where occasion dressing meant that your look was polished at all times.
   A camel coat with fur trim collar with matching hat for a day out shopping or perhaps a royal blue hand-pleated silk chiffon ball gown layered over lavender taffeta for cocktail hour.
   These are only some of the amazing pieces that are on display at the moment. The exhibition runs from September 9 until October 3, 2010. Try and not miss this opportunity to view some great couture and a piece of New Zealand history, and get to Kirkcaldie & Stains before the museum shifts to its new location.—Sopheak Seng

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Filed by Sopheak Seng

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