NZ Diary: Fashion and Art


I paid a visit to the New Zealand Fashion Museum‘s pop-up exhibit, “The Age of Aquarius”, in the eco-forward Geyser Building in the central Auckland neighbourhood of Parnell.

The temporary exhibit celebrates New Zealand designers from the 1970s, as well as acknowledging the role that key retail figures played in the promotion of fashion-forward trends from around the world.

New Zealand Fashion Museum: The Age of Aquarius

It was all pretty straight-forward, with vintage clothing displayed on vintage mannequins, and it all looked very much like what you’d have seen parading down the sidewalks in other countries during the same time period, though typically more conservative (NZers are not a flashy or particularly fashion-risky bunch, as a whole, and tend not to spend as much on clothing and jewellery as their more cosmopolitan counterparts).

You can see more pictures at my Flickr account here: NZ Fashion Museum – The Age of Aquarius — keeping in mind that this was the cutting-edge stuff for New Zealand.

The kind of thing you might have seen on the grittier streets of New York, London or Paris wasn’t really going to hit the fan down in kiwi country due to a much smaller youth population than these major urban centres — which ultimately results in a lower intensity impetus towards transgression and rebellion.

*FOR EXAMPLE: There wasn’t a trace of punk attitude anywhere in the exhibit, even though punk made distinct waves in the 70s and has been popping up in other fashion retrospectives; however, this may reflect more on the curators of this exhibit than actual New Zealand reality of the time, as the anti-establishment reverberations of feminism, sexual freedom, anti-war politics, indigenous rights and environmental concerns were definitely felt throughout NZ, just as they were felt elsewhere.


I literally stumbled across the Architecture + Women New Zealand 2013 exhibit in one of the old silos in Auckland’s Silo Park in the Viaduct Harbour area. I had no idea it was on, saw some signs, wandered into the building and was totally into it.

Unfortunately, I left the house with only my 75mm telephoto lens in my bag (I could have really used my 35mm for such cramped conditions) and I set my camera at too low a shutter speed to compensate for the dim interior lighting, resulting in photos that were mostly unusable (darn it!), but here’s one of a structure of glass panes placed near one of the windows:

Silo (exhibit)

I would have liked to have walked out with better, but I did learn just how low I can go with my shutter speed and still live to tell the tale. Apparently, not very low!


The Auckland On Water Boat Show came and went and all I got was this one picture of some workers setting up a tent:

Getting ready for the boat show

I do, however, really like the picture with its “framed” workers, primary colours and tarps glowing in the sunlight.

*ADDITIONAL INFO: I received my invitation to the Patron’s Dinner at the Auckland Museum (I donated some money this year because I think the museum is worth supporting), and it’s a black tie affair. I’ve never done black tie before, never owned a tux, never bothered to even once think of attending an event that required formalwear of its guests, yet for some weird reason, I’m suddenly feeling the compulsion to buy myself a tux and go.

Midnight blue, of course.

Is this what it’s like to get older — that the words “black tie required” no longer bring out the rebel yell in me? In fact, I’m downright curious.