Fashion exhibition Elle & the Youthquake: The Changing Face of Fashion has popped up at Auckland’s Nathan Gallery and it’s fabulous and free!
The exhibition, on show at the gallery (42 Custom St) until October 19, has been curated by the New Zealand Fashion Museum and tells the story of Wendy Ganley and her boutique Elle.
While Mary Quant led the way in swinging London, young women like Wendy Ganley (pictured below) represented the new generation of New Zealanders in the 1960s who injected fun, exuberance and a youthful spirit into fashion.
Ganley’s whakapapa (genealogy) of New Zealand fashion is also impressive. She trained with Barbara Herrick of Babs Radon before passing on her knowledge to Marilyn Sainty of Scotties who in turn supported the development of the design talent of Beth Ellery.
Her Elle Boutique in Hamilton was the only boutique of its kind and became a magnet for young people interested in her trend-setting designs. She later opened in Auckland too. Her designs were also popular with Zambesi’s Neville and Liz Findlay who prior to launching Zambesi sold Ganley’s clothes through their boutique Tart.
Designs by Ganley, Herrick and Sainty are part of the exhibition but that’s not all. The New Zealand Fashion Museum has used it as an opportunity to spotlight the current face of young New Zealand Fashion Design which is represented with a pop-up shop within the space selling fashion from young designers picked by the Museum as one’s to watch.