Melbourne Fashion Week started for me when Tinks arrived at my door step bearing gifts from his recent trip to New York. It was like Christmas on Christmas… and then fashion continued to win the day.
Strike a Pose: The life and work of photographer Rennie Ellis
A select few gathered in an intimate room at the State Library of Victoria to hear about the life and work of legendary Melbourne photographer, Rennie Ellis.
Janice Breen Burns (Melbourne style commentary maven) was joined on stage by iconic fashion designer Jenny Bannister, photographer Monty Coles and former friend and personal assistant to Rennie Ellis as well as Director of his Photographic Archive, Manuela Furci. As a group they discussed Ellis’ influence as a social documenter. It was interesting to hear different perspectives on Rennie’s methodology, private life, public persona and work ethic. He captured the most extravagant events and parties that happened in Melbourne during the 70s, and 80s.
It was interesting to hear different perspectives on Rennie’s methodology, private life, public persona and work ethic. He captured the most extravagant events and parties that happened in Melbourne during the 70s, and 80s.
The panel regaled us with stories of times when Rennie would appear out of nowhere with drag queens in tow, sneaking backstage at shows to capture the madness before shows, and how he was a pioneer in documenting simple things like graffiti on toilet walls. Most importantly, amidst all the debauchery, the group painted a picture of an elegant soul and a gentleman, who never set out to make anyone look bad. It’s probably more what he left out of his edits that kept him so popular with his peers. People clamoured toward Rennie Ellis wherever he went, flashing boobs and hamming it up for the camera. But he preferred more candid moments, and that is where the magic lies in his work. He saw many different aspects come together in a frame and clicked the shutter at precisely the right time, deciding at that moment, what his commentary was. I wonder if Rennie Ellis ever knew that he would become the most renowned documenter of social activity during those free years, before Victoria became the Nanny state, with all its rules and WAGs.
In the lead up to Strike a Pose, I interviewed Jenny Bannister. We had a very jovial chat about her mate Rennie, and the best of times during the 70s and 80s. You can read it here.
CTF Curated at the old Met Shop
Post talk, we fell in to the CTF Curated pop up shop, where we bumped in to lovely Ema Hewitt of Hew Clothing. I’ve enjoyed following the development of Ema’s brand, through writing about her brand, attending shows and bumping in to her from time to time (like a creep?).
I adore supporting local designers if I can see that they are offering something I’ve never seen, or have a sensibility that makes life a bit more fun. A winning personality also helps. Courtenay of Maude Studio is one of those designers. I tried on some outrageously chic sunglasses which I expected to cost more than they did. So naturally…
I adore supporting local designers if I can see that they are offering something I’ve never seen, or have a sensibility that makes life a bit more fun. A winning personality also helps.
Courtenay describes her accessories range as ‘ostentatious’, and if that’s what you call it, then I can do it. Ostentatious is nothing to be afraid of. You can be that person who people remember. Who’s that girl in the green sunnies with bees and diamantes… ON THEM? Courtenay hand assembles the accoutrements on her eyewear, which she pre buys from suppliers. Her selection process and the pieces she creates, is what won the day for us.