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Synchronicity – Project Outline

Felt has a reputation as a textile for winter woollies, beanies, boots, scarves and blankets but very rarely referred to as glamorous or sexy.  Yet this is just not true!  In Australia we have become very adept at making light, fine felt and nuno that is wearable even during our summers.  Many of our talented feltmakers produce elegant and stylish clothing all of types, but rarely do people associate felt with evening gowns.  My project has been to produce a collection of elegant, glamorous and sexy evening gowns made from felt and silk.  I had originally planned to create one for each decade of the twentieth Century, but as I began to research the gowns, two things stood out as warranting further investigation.  After the mid sixties, formal evening gowns went out of fashion due.  During the late sixties and throughout the seventies evening fashion became faddish and trendy, rebelling against the conservative establishment and trying in earnest to be modern.  Functions that previously required formal evening attire diminished and the opportunity to wear glamorous clothes faded away.  The eighties saw a return to the glam look but it was with recycled ideas and styles from previous eras, for example the exaggerated shoulder pads were straight-out of the forties.  The nineties were filled with an anything goes attitude and outrageous attempts to have that new look.  By the turn of the new century we see more and more Hollywood stars returning to vintage couture, as their choice for gala events, or at least gowns designed on styles that echo the first half of the twentieth century.

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