Inside the Collection

Fabric designer- Georgia Chapman, Vixen

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What is “The Vixen Look”?

In this post, we feature a video interview with Georgia Chapman, fashion and textile designer (including screen printed and digital textiles) and owner of Vixen Australia.

Vixen was co-founded in 1992 by Georgia Chapman and Meredith Rowe (Rowe left Vixen in 2000 to pursue other areas of design). The label is unique in Australia for successfully combining a crafts based practice and aesthetic with a high fashion product. The textiles and clothing appear not only on the catwalk but also in craft and design exhibitions at galleries and museums. Vixen was featured in the 2007 exhibition Smart works: design and the handmade, along with Robert Foster of F!NK & Co and Blanche Tilden who are also featured on our blog.

Vixen textile dress with a combination of fabrics and prints
2003/213/1-1. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

The garments you can see in the images above and below belong to a single outfit which Vixen designed and made specifically for the Powerhouse Museum’s exhibition Sourcing the Muse in 2002. This exhibition was based on the Museum’s rich textile and dress collection and archive and the emergence over the last decade of a new generation of Australian fashion designers whose original and distinct signatures were marked by a knowledge of and passion for fashion and textile history. Eight Australian designers, including Vixen, were invited to look through the Museum’s textile and dress collection and select an item or collection of items to use as a source of inspiration for a new work they created for the exhibition.

Grey asymmetrical skirt on a mannequin
2003/213/1-2. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Vixen’s inspiration for this outfit was the Bohemian vibe of 1920s-1930s Paris. Georgia said:

[It was a time]…where style, morals, customs and art itself had all been subjected to an unprecedented acceleration. There was a sudden fascination with the exotic and the primitive. A strange hedonistic mix occurred. Based around this theme we delved into the archives to select textiles that when juxtaposed and melded together emulated this. The mix and contrast of elements is an inherent part of our design style.

Long black patterned skirt
2003/213/1-3. Collection: Powerhouse Museum
Sheer black shawl on a mannequin
2003/213/1-4. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

You can read more about the production and significance of this outfit here. Also check out the talk Georgia presented at the Smart works symposium on D*Hub.

Editor’s note: The content for this post was adapted from original research and text written by Glynis Jones, Curator of Fashion. See full text here.

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