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House of Tarvydas, a retrospective, at the JCG

Media release


22 July 2008

House of Tarvydas, a retrospective, at the JCG
22 August – 10 October 2008

The John Curtin Gallery proudly presents House of Tarvydas; an anniversary
tribute to the influential fashion designer, Ruth Tarvydas and her extraordinary

The Gallery will showcase the history and practice of this innovative Western
Australian designer with the opening of House of Tarvydas on 22 August 2008.

Key designs from Ruth Tarvydas’ collection under the Ruta label, established in
1968, to the current work, will highlight the considerable contribution Tarvydas
has made to the development of contemporary style in Australia over the years.

Curtin University’s Dean of Art, Professor Ted Snell, said the exhibition will
provide a rare opportunity for visitors to survey Western Australian garment and
fashion design through fashion photography, media coverage and multi-media

“This is the first thorough examination of Western Australian fashion at a major
gallery,” Professor Snell said.

“The work of Ruth Tarvydas is examined because of her outstanding contribution
to the emergence and growth of designer fashion in WA.”

Exhibition Curator Anne Farren suggests, “garment design practice and the
fashion industry in WA changed dramatically with the introduction of the
designer boutique in the late 1960’s. Young designers of this era, such as
Tarvydas, were influenced by the bold, savvy street wear reflected in the iconic
Carnaby Street stores and shops like Biba in the UK.”

“From 1968 Ruth Tarvydas became a catalyst for change to fashion design in WA with the opening of her boutique The House of Tarvydas. Not only did she provide WA youth access to locally created but internationally-inspired designs, Ruth
was also a designer who led the way in global export of her label,” Ms Farren said

Tarvydas’ designs are stocked in more than 170 locations in 16 countries around the world including Australia, the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Her designs have been worn by the rich and famous including: Rachael Hunter, Rihanna, Jennifer Hawkins, Delta Goodrem, and Sonia Kruger, Kimberly Stewart, Leona Lewis, Lara
Bingle and Kim Kardashian.

Ms Farren said that Tarvydas’ collection is still as glamorous and alluring as ever.

“Her earlier Bodyline collection had clients fighting over her micro minis and
satin hot pants. Ruth described her Bodyline collection as close, clinging and
very skinny,” Ms Farren said.

“Today, the label remains as edgy as ever and is geared for show stopping impact. The famous red dress worn by Rebecca Twigley, long term girlfriend of AFL star Chris Judd, for the 2004 Brownlow Medals set tongues wagging.”

The Gallery will also present Looking Out, which profiles the diversity and individual style of five local fashion designers who have achieved international recognition.

Looking Out features cutting edge designers including: DD Megan Salmon, ae’lkemi, Aurelio Costarella, ericaamerica and Material Boy. Their work reflects the dynamic and innovative nature of garment design in WA.

The Gallery exhibitions will coincide with the 2008 Perth Fashion Festival.

House of Tarvydas, and Looking Out is open to the public and entry is free. The John Curtin Gallery is open between 12pm and 5pm Monday to Friday and 1pm to 4pm on Sunday 31 August, 9 & 28 September.

Editor/COS Further information on Ruth Tarvydas and WA designers participating in the Looking Out exhibition, as well as high resolution photographs and photo and interview opportunities are available  on request.

Modified: 19 August 2008