New Zealand in Vogue exhibition is a long term exhibition currently showing at Te Papa Museum, Wellington. In 1957 British Vogue magazine established Vogue New Zealand, the first Vogue magazine published outside of America and Europe, but sadly was only printed from 1957 to 1968. The exhibition is inspired from its pages spanning this period. Sheila Scotter was appointed editor and her role was “to lead, inform and guide a relatively unsophisticated fashion industry”. These garments are from 1965. The silk sari evening dress was made for opera singer Kiri Te Kawana.
Vogue offered a range of paper patterns in three categories, Vogue Paris Original, Vogue Couture Design, and Vogue Young Fashionables. These were marketed to “those of you blessed with dressmaking talents, or the possessors of a little woman around the corner”. Home sewers could even request a Vogue label to sew into their clothes. While I certainly did enjoy the exhibition, I have to admit that neither the Vogue magazine or patterns were ever part of my life. Sadly my sewing talents were no match for those tricky Vogue patterns, I used the much simpler Simplicity patterns. And by the mid 1960s I was a young Mum, with no time to sew for myself. With two babies born 12 months apart, I can remember sewing little dresses, shirts and shorts, and winter pyjamas. Not to mention all the baby and toddler knitting I did back then. As the blurb says: “This exhibition draws its inspiration directly from the pages of Vogue New Zealand. It showcases garments from top New Zealand designers, and those made here under licence from the world's leading fashion houses, such as Christian Dior.” This exhibition has another 12 months to run, so do pop in to see it next time you visit Te Papa Museum.