Posted by Nicole in art deco, Circa event, Talk 2 Comments

This weekend I’ve been in Albury, as a guest of the Write around the Murray festival and it’s been an experience to treasure.

Albury, near the NSW/Victorian border is a town I’ve often gone through but never spent longer than the time it takes to have a meal. As a child we often caught the train to Albury where my Grandfather would meet us and drive south to Beechworth for short holidays. It was pleasing to see that the train station looks much as I remember it, and I almost expected to see his old car there, alongside the modern coaches.

This time we drove up from Melbourne in time for a book launch at the library museum, a walk around town and the poetry night where Tim read alongside Emilie Zoe Baker, Andy Jackson and others. I’ve been to a lot of poetry events, and this ranked well: a good turn out, pleasant company and accomplished performers. A good start to the festival for us.

Here are some pressed tin ceilings that I admired, they’re from street awnings:

The following day I had a mission: my mother had grown up at a nearby orphanage. She’d told me many awful tales of her years at St John’s but her early death prevented her from writing the book she had hoped for. Thankfully someone else has (I picked up a copy from the library museum).

From her stories, it sounded like it was a big old house on a large, isolated farm – of course, that was in the ’50s and since it closed in 1978 there’s been a lot of development. Thurgoona was probably a small town back then, but it’s now a suburb of Albury. I held my breath as I drove up the hill to find a fully restored building with assorted outbuildings – it looks quite lovely and peaceful now, it’s hard to imagine it hosting the sort of deprivation my mother, and many other children experienced.

I still find it hard to believe that it’s the right place, it looks so nice.

My mum had spoken of milking cows, and tending fields – I think there was a lot of land originally, but most of it has been built on now. Close by is a little school, where I imagine the children had their lessons. There was a local election on Saturday so it was bustling.

The road that the old orphanage sits on is now a small unsealed lane, and if you follow it around it takes you to the little cemetery containing graves of the sisters and a few others. I wished that I could remember the names of the nuns that my mum had mentioned – it’s not that long ago, and some might still be alive. I wondered where the children were buried? Almost a century as a childrens home and there would have been a lot of small lives lost.

Although it was called an orphanage, many of the children had parents alive of course – and there were also child migrants from Britain too. As a child I found it hard to believe but of course, we know now that it’s true.

There was a small statue, I think it dates to the ’50s and when my mum was there, it may have graced the front of the building – now it’s off to one side and bears no memorial although I like to think that it’s a representation of it’s past history as a home for children.

An emotional visit. After, I went to the library museum and found the book on the orphanage. There was much walking around Albury, and admiring Art Deco buildings and time for reflection (I have a complicated relationship with the past and take solace in aesthetics).

Today we went to see a textile exhibition at the Art Gallery featured some amazing creations including an interpretation of a Victorian mourning dress and an organic work made of electrical piping and cable ties – it was like licorice and quite enticing!

This afternoon was the main event: my presentation on ladies fashions, part of the Write around the Murray festival and also part of the NSW History week. I managed to include two of the frocks from the Lisa Ho collection: a beaded ’20s and a silk ’30s, and my latest acquisition, a flocked late ’40s ballgown I bought on the way up to Albury. It was a good turn out.

It’s been quite an intense weekend, but I’m happier for it – and met many lovely people.

Thank you, Albury: Penny who helped me present the talk, Bridget, Caryn, Chris and the other ladies at the library museum and thank you to Ann-maree and the Write around the Murray festival – it’s been a pleasure and a privilege and I hope to come back again soon!

Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, art deco, Calendar, Circa event, Talk 1 Comment

Next month I’m presenting a talk on accessories of the Art Deco era, for the Caulfield Library.

What: Art deco influences in fashion by Nicole Jenkins
When: 7-8pm, Wednesday 8th August
Where: Glen Eira Town Hall — Caulfield Cup Room, level one, corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield
Cost: free, but bookings essential – call 9524 3623 or book at a Glen Eira library.
More information and bookings: see the Glen Eira website.

UPDATE: It looks like this talk might already be booked out, if that’s the case, ask if you can go on a waiting list; it’s a big room and not everyone might turn up.

Image courtesy Glen Eira council.

Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, art deco, Calendar, Costume Collections, fashion parade 4 Comments

An intriguing event from the in-box:

Charlotte Smith, owner and curator of The Darnell Collection, the largest private collection of vintage couture garments and accessories in Australia, will continue her series of fashion lectures at the Carrington.

Charlotte will discuss fashion during the time Agatha Christie wrote many of her most famous mysteries. Guest will be entertained with conversation about Christie’s life, her inspiration and her famous detectives. A display of rare and valuable dresses from the ’20s will compliment a fashion parade of vintage dresses and accessories from the ’20s through to the ’40s. Following the catwalk parade a Q&A will take place.

When: Sunday February 13th, 2pm to 3.30pm.
Where: The Carrington Hotel, Grand Dining Room, Katoomba, NSW
Cost: $15 per person
Bookings: call 0416 463 331 or the Carrington on 02 4782 1111.

Click on the flyer to see in full, click again for full size.

This event is part of a Roaring ’20s festival on that weekend – there’s also a Deco Ball, history tours, a speakeasy, a classic car display and ragtime jazz. For more information see the Carrington’s events page.

Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, art deco, Calendar, Circa event, Talk 5 Comments

Hi all,

This is the third talk that I have coming up in the next few weeks and it’s dedicated to the wonderful accessories that ladies and gentlemen wore to spruce up their outfits during the ’20s to the ’50s – with a definite Art Deco slant. I might even sneak in some items from the Deco revival in the late ’60-early ’70s.

What: Nicole presents a talk on Art Deco accessories
When: 7.30pm, Thursday 5th August2010
Where: Racecourse Hotel, cnr Waverley Rd & Princes Highway, East Malvern
Cost: $15 which includes coffee, tea, biscuits and mini-muffins.
Bookings: Complete the booking form on this page and send in no later than 30th July 2010. We also have some booking forms at Circa.

More information at the Art Deco and Modernism Society

Copies of my book “Love Vintage” will be available on the night.

UPDATE: this talk is now sold out.

Posted by Nicole in 1930s, art deco

Recently we drove to Sydney for the launch of the book (more about that later, yes I really am that far behind on my postings!) and did a bit of a country meander over two pleasant days. We stopped in Goulburn for some lunch at the Paragon Cafe – we knew we were onto a good thing when the large room was packed at it wasn’t even noon yet.

Around the corner we found two rather special 1930s Art Deco style buildings – Elmslea Chambers and across the road, Halsbury House. I love the way they’re both wonderful examples at different ends of the spectrum: one clean and crisp, almost industrial in it’s commercialism – the other colourful and fanciful. Hope you like them too.

Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, art deco, Circa event, events, fashion parade 7 Comments

On Saturday August 2nd, Circa participated in an Art Deco fashion parade organised by Chris Horne, for the National Gallery of Victoria as part of their Art Deco exhibition. High Tea was held at Sofi’s, and quickly sold out – before we knew that we would be involved – otherwise I would have invited you all!

Here are some shots from the day – there were over thirty outfits in total, all are original to the period 1910 to 1939. The first seven outfits (one for each model) were the last ones out, and all are from the late 1930s. All garments and accessories are from the private collection of Chris Horne, my own or from Circa. More pics will be posted as they’re available!

Many thanks to Chris, for allowing us to be a part of this amazing event, and Doug Cloud for the photography. Click on each one to see the photo in full.

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