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Looking Out – An exhibition celebrating the internationalisation of WA fashion

Media release


22 July 2008

Looking Out – An exhibition celebrating the internationalisation of WA fashion

22 August – 10 October

The John Curtin Gallery (JCG) proudly presents Looking Out; a showcase of key contemporary Western Australian fashion designers whose work represents the dynamic and innovative nature of garment design in WA.

Opening on 22 August, this exhibition features stand out pieces from: ae’lkemi, Aurelio Costarella, ericaamerica, Material Boy, and DD by Megan Salmon.

The JCG has developed Looking Out to acknowledge the contribution and relevance of WA design to the international fashion arena.

Curtin 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 installations.

“Over the past 10 years the significance of garment design has been increasingly recognised for its contribution to the arts. It plays a significant role in the creation of the cultural landscape of a community,” Professor Snell said.

“Looking Out is the first thorough examination of Western Australian fashion at a major gallery.”

Exhibition curator Anne Farren said that Looking Out will illustrate the growth of fashion design in WA and its movement into the global arena in recent years.

“The exhibition will feature designers who we consider reflect the innovation and
internationalisation of WA fashion,” Ms Farren said.

“Looking Out will provide an effective means of addressing the current lack of public recognition of the growth and strength of WA’s designer fashion industry.”

Each of the designers selected for the Looking Out exhibition present different
approaches to fashion design:

Ray Costarella (Aurelio Costarella) moved into fashion design from initial training in architecture. He has now established a unique design style based on a commitment to structure and the traditions of couture design. Ray was named WA Fashion Designer of the Year in 2004.

Megan Salmon (DD by Megan Salmon) emerged as a designer from roots as a fine art painter. She brings a passion for textiles, colour and love of portraiture to her design process.

Mic Eaton (Material Boy) is an ex-professional surfer and launched his clothing line in 2003. His label has been described as flamboyant, comical, relaxed and bold with individual cuts, colours and prints. Mic was the winner of the 2006 WA Designer of the Year Award.

Lucas Bowers and Erica Wardle (ericaamerica) launched into garment design
in the late 1990s. They are another design team to have a fine arts background,
however their work reflects a new generation of subculture-culture focused design.

Alvin Fernandez (ae’lkemi) is a designer from a more traditional background and training in fashion, however his work pushes the boundaries of convention to explore a unique and distinctive approach to design. Alvin was named WA Fashion Designer of the Year in 2005.

In conjunction with Looking Out, the JCG will also present House of Tarvydas; an anniversary tribute to the influential fashion designer, Ruth Tarvydas and her extraordinary career.

Key designs from Ruth Tarvydas’ collections including samples from the Ruta label, established in 1968, to her current work, will highlight the considerable contribution Tarvydas has made to contemporary style over the years.

These JCG exhibitions will coincide with the 2008 Perth Fashion Festival.

JCG will also be launching both exhibition catalogues as well as hosting a fashion
symposium on Sunday 7 September.

Looking Out and House of Tarvydas 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 and Sunday 28 September.

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

Media enquires:
Monique Billstein; PR Coordinator, ph: 08 9266 3353; mob: 0401 103 018; e:

Modified: 19 August 2008