Looking Flash: Clothing in Aotearoa New Zealand

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Bronwyn Labrum, Fiona McKergow, Stephanie Gibson
Auckland University Press, 2007 - Design - 279 pages

Offering a fresh look at the role of clothes in New Zealand history, this reference examines what New Zealanders wear and what they have worn—from the shrinking bathing suit to the black singlet—over the past three centuries, proving that clothing reveals as much as it conceals. The authors show that, despite a reputation for being wary of “looking flashy,” New Zealand has not always been a dowdy country. Essays span the clothing of pre-colonial Maori society, marching girls and castaways, and include 18th century heirloom dresses, hand-me-downs, wartime garb, and kilts. There are also extraordinary stories about the fate of a Maori cloak and an Otago farmer’s remarkable collection of 1970s high-fashion garments.

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Identity Resistance and Tradition
Exploring Public Collections
What are These So Withered and So Wild in their Attire?

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About the author (2007)

Bronwyn Labrum is a senior lecturer in the School of Visual and Material Culture of Massey University–Wellington, New Zealand. Stephanie Gibson is a history curator at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

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