July 23, 2017


Fashion mystery part one: Today our spotlight is on Australian-Italian photographer Bruno Benini. An archive of his works was acquired by the Powerhouse Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Sydney about ten years ago. Museum curator Anne-Marie Van de Ven expressed just how vital fashion images can be as both time capsules and records of our changing culture when she wrote: "Fashion photographs are good indicators of social change. By their very nature and purpose, fashion photographs are created and designed to document and promote change by capturing or creating the total look, mood or attitudes of the moment. Within their frames (if they’re not shot in the studio which is the case for so many post-WWII photographs) they also frequently document (by capturing) natural, urban, rural, built and interior environments. These images then become highly evocative references to people, places, social, technological, environmental and industrial change at different points in time. With many of Benini’s shots also taken overseas, change of another nature is also revealed - that of Australia’s complex, multicultural society, it’s global aspirations and it’s trade, manufacturing and cultural links with the rest of the world." The highlight for me in the Benini collection is this image of model Jan Stewart (1965 Mannequin of the Year and 1967 Model of the Year). Note that the original negative was a medium-format square image, but the final print was cropped into a vertical. For the photo Stewart wore a drop-waste Mondrian-inspired mini dress- credited to Simona for Sportsgirl. But Spy Vibers will surely recognize the outfit from another source! Tune into my next post for details! As with many Mod designs, the geometric lines helped accentuate that slim, stick-figure vibe of the era. Dressed in this outfit, Stewart would have been right at home beside Elsa Martinelli in The 10th Victim. The Powerhouse museum mounted a large exhibition of Benini's photographs in 2010-11. More info here. Incidentally, the museum is currently running the international Sherlock Holmes exhibit, so check it out if you are down under. In other Australia-related news, my episodes of the Cocktail Nation radio show are now live: Episode #1 (Danger Man) and Episode #2 (The 10th Victim), Epsiode #3 (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) Episode #4 (Roger Moore/The Saint), Episode #5 (The Avengers).

Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Spy Vibe Radio 41960s Pop ModelsBatman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseFahrenheit 451 50thInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art.

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