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Freedom and flares

By Carolyn Enting

Freedom and flares
A fashion exhibition focusing on the individuality of the 1970s where freedom was the status quo opens in Auckland on September 14 and runs until October 13, 2013.

The New Zealand Fashion Museum exhibition Age of Aquarius showcases more than 60 pieces including menswear from established designer labels including Hullabaloo and Miss Deb, as well as small independent labels of the era including Black Sheep by Mary-Jane and Phil O’Reilly who are pictured here modelling their own creations.

The couple began making denim in London as a way to earn money while Mary-Jane, formerly of Limbs, completed a dance scholarship with the Royal Ballet in the early 70s. On their return to New Zealand in 1974 they began selling their wares at the Cook Street Markets, Auckland.

Phil, a graphic designer did the design work and made and applied all the hardware to the denim and Mary-Jane did the sewing. The garments were distinguished with quirky branding including a leather label stamped by Phil himself. The denim jeans, skirts, dungarees, vests and bags all came with an authentication certificate and they also screen printed T-shirts with the certificate.

Age of Aquarius is being held on the ground floor of the Geyser Building, 100 Parnell Road, Auckland where it will be showcased alongside 1970s era furniture.

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