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Spring seems to have produced a fine crop of textile-related exhibitions and events in Wellington.
Opening in the department store Kirkcaldie and Stains on Monday 6 September is The story of El Jay, a self-described pop-up exhibition about one of New Zealand’s most well known 20th century fashion houses. The exhibition, mounted by the fledgling New Zealand Fashion Museum, had its debut in Auckland earlier this year and features 30 El Jay garments dating from the 1940s to the 1980s. It’s popping up in the delightfully archaic ‘Ladies Fashion’ (the name that is, not the clothing) section of the store and is on until 3 October.
Pataka museum in Porirua is hosting two textile-related exhibitions in September. First to open on 11 September is White goddess, which explores the goddess as a symbol of fertility, regeneration and hope through wedding dresses and accompanying head dresses. Nga kakahu: change and exchange is an exhibition of garments made by Maori and Pakeha practitioners using traditional Maori weaving techniques. It opens on 18 September. Both are on until early 2011.
The bounty of riches continues at Te Papa in central Wellington. Here, Enriching fashion: an eye of detail opens on 17 September. This exhibition concentrates on clothing from various periods that are distinguished by elaborate decoration, luxurious materials and painstaking construction. In September and October curator Angela Lassig is conducting floor talks with New Zealand fashion designers Liz Mitchell, Denise L’Estrange Corbett and Murray Crane. Check out Te Papa’s events pages for those months for more info. On Thursday 16 September the museum is open late for a special preview of the exhibition, which includes a tour and brief talks by a great line-up of artists and curators. You need to book for the tour on (04) 381 7000.