Sunday 7th April
The gentle rise of Australia’s influence in global fashion in the Mid-Century coincided with the culmination of the Second World War in 1945 and the arrival of European émigrés on Australian shores. Through the efforts of these communities – as both producers and consumers of fashion – the Australian approach to dress was catapulted into a new era of exciting sophistication.
This afternoon of talks on Jewish fashion stories is presented in partnership with the Sherman Centre for Culture & Ideas.
Session I (2pm – 3pm)
Claudio Alcorso: From Rome to Hobart
Tracey Sernack-Chee Quee, doctoral candidtate at UTS in Australian art, fashion and textile design, will bring to life the legacy of Italian-born Jewish change-maker, Claudio Alcorso. Alcorso was the founder of the Piperno Alcorso department stores in Rome, and Australia’s Silk and Textile Fabrics in Tasmania. Tracey
Tracey will share how this visionary employer of 1,400 individuals provided housing for immigrant workers, involved the labour force in the running of the factory, and introduced the first 40-hour week in Tasmania.
30 minute catered break
Session II (3.30pm – 4.30pm)
Sewing Their Way To Success: Fashion & Sydney’s Jewish Émigrés
This session by Professor Peter McNeil will shift the focus from Tasmania to Sydney, where the Jewish community was once again instrumental in developing Australia’s fashion credentials.
McNeil will revisit the Sydney Jewish Museum’s 2015 exhibition, Dressing Sydney, followed by a screening of Geraldine Doogue’s Rags to Riches. This piece of investigative journalism, originally produced for ABC’s Compass, shares the story of survival and success that Jewish families experienced after fleeing war-torn Europe to rebuild their lives.
For details on the full SCCI Fashion Hub program for 2019, click here.
Image: Sydney Jewish Museum Collection.