Category Archives: Publications

Frances Hodgkins Textile Designs on display

Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is Te Papa’s new, changing programme of art from the national collection and beyond – both on the floor and online.

Textile design by Frances Hodgkins, c. 1925, gouache on paper. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa.

The spring season features five completely new shows: Michael Stevenson’s This is the Trekka, Colin McCahon’s sweeping Walk (Series C), works by Petrus Van der Velden, landmark contemporary New Zealand jewellery, and textile designs by Frances Hodgkins. The latter are on display for the next three months, and are also the subject of an essay, Cubist Dreams and Wings like fire flies, by CTANZ member Claire Regnault for Te Papa’s online magazine Off the Wall.

Do you want to write for ‘Textile History’?


Australian dress historian Dr. Margaret Maynard has joined the Editorial Board of the British journal ‘Textile History’, co-edited by Laura Ugolini and Mary Brooks. Some of you may remember Margaret’s keynote lecture at the Costume & Textile Association’s Wellington symposium a couple of years ago.

Margaret is keen to include writing from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, that reflects high-quality research both in textile, dress history and related topics. She is interested in articles, shorter object lesson papers, research notes and/or conference and exhibition reviews.

Margaret notes that “Textile History is now taking a very broad view and welcomes original papers from a wide range of disciplines – design, economic, industrial and social and cultural history and from an equally wide range of perspectives (eg anthropological, material cultural or museological) but they want a strong historical component, even if the subject is contemporary.”

For author guidelines, information about Textile History and a link to the on-line journal, follow this link:

With Bold Needle and Thread – Christchurch Arts Festival

Christchurch readers and stitchers get the chance to hear Rosemary McLeod talk with Vita Cochran about her passion for 
New Zealand’s textile past and the joys of creating and collecting during the Christchurch Arts Festival.

The one-hour session will be on Sunday 8 September, 3pm at the Fletcher Building Festival Club.


New local vintage magazine available online

glory daysA group of New Zealand vintage enthusiasts have just launched a new online lifestyle magazine celebrating all things vintage.

The first edition of Glory Days is dedicated to summer holidays.


Book Review: Dreaming in Colour by Kaffe Fassett

By Ann Packer

 Is there anything Kaffe Fassett hasn’t done? He first blasted onto the textile scene some 45 years ago in Vogue Knitting, with fair isle jerseys and coats the like of which we’d never seen. Then it was needlepoint, inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collections, followed by quilts, for which he not only designed wildly inspired patterned fabrics but also commissioned stripes woven on Indian village looms. He’s a dab hand at mosaic too – which, though not soft stuff, is another colour-rich assemblage following his “more is better” mantra.


The personable textile guru has visited New Zealand three times now, the first as a knitting lecturer some 20 years ago. He was here most recently in Upper Hutt in January 2011, with partner Brandon Mably, teaching quilters the art of colour mixing in his inimitable way. 

Kaffe (rhymes with “safe”) Fassett has authored a long string of books but the most eagerly-awaited is his autobiography Dreaming in Colour. Lavishly illustrated with everything from black-and-white family photos and his own sketches and paintings to spreads of book shoots with collaborators such as the extraordinary Steve Lovi – who died as the book was being finished – it’s a roll call of the rich, famous and wildly creative: all the big names in film, fashion, craft and design. Yet it’s also a great read – having finished it quite quickly I can’t wait to start over.

Born in 1937 to hippy parents at Big Sur on the California coast – the Fassett restaurant, Nepenthe, is still in the family – Kaffe grew up in a house that Orson Welles built for Rita Hayworth, and went to Krishnamurti’s school in Happy Valley. His parents threw parties for stars like Olivia De Havilland, and Steve McQueen, Ted Turner and Jane Fonda were regular diners. Born Frank, he took the name Kaffe from a children’s book because the Egyptian boy hero – a pharoah’s son, as it happened – looked exactly like him.

While these chapters will reward mainstream biography readers, it’s the chronicling of his years as a blossoming designer that textile lovers will especially relish.

 Dreaming in Colour is a technicolour “life and times” like no other, peopled with extraordinary characters and infused with the free spirit of the boy from the wild California coast who, as he writes in his intro, “strode into England and the world of design and made a place for himself. I never felt daunted by difficulties or blocked alleys. Somehow I knew the path I was on was right…”

 Dreaming in Colour, Kaffe Fassett (Stewart, Tabori & Chang).

Available from Minerva, 237 Cuba St Wellington,, and most bookshops.

Lecture and textile sale: John Gillow on Islamic textiles

Minverva, Wellington’s haven for lovers of textiles and books, is hosting a lecture by textile authority and dealer John Gillow on Saturday 24 November 2012 at 2.15pm at the Quality Hotel, Cuba Street.

John will be talking about textiles of the Islamic World, the subject of his 2012 book for Thames & Hudson. He will also have textiles from Asia and India for sale.

Tickets are $15 and are available from Minerva, 237 Cuba St, Wellington, (04) 939 0395).

Exhibition: Black in Fashion

The Fashion Musuem’s exhibition Black in Fashion has opened in Wellington in a ‘pop up’ venue in the Tower Building at 1 Brandon St [just around the corner from Customhouse Quay]. It will be open daily from noon to 6 pm from 24th February until the 18th March, and entry is by koha.

Associated public programmes

“Do we wear too much black?” Black vs Colour debate – moderated by Dr Prudence Stone , 1 March, 5.30 pm start with debate 6-7pm. Venue: 1 Brandon St

Book launch and panel discussion 12 March 4.30 – 6 pm.  Panel includes Doris de Pont, Dr Prudence Stone, Claire Regnault and Stephanie Gibson. Venue: Museum of Wellington.

Black the book is a gorgeously illustrated celebration and exploration of New Zealand’s obsession with clothing ourselves in black. It features10 richly illustrated essays which cover wide-ranging diverse topics on everything from music to high fashion and spans Victorian to modern day New Zealand (several essays are written by CTANZ members). Recommended retail price: $59.99.


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