The Ellen Melville Centre presents ’60s style in Playdate Magazine

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Fashion Week is almost here and to celebrate, the Ellen Melville Centre in conjunction with magazine maestro Murray Cammick (remember Rip It Up?) present a retrospective look at Kiwi fashion as seen on Auckland’s High St, Vulcan Lane and on the sets of the C’mon! pop music show, recorded in the Shortland St television studios in the ’60s.

This projection show features swinging 1960 fashion images from the pages of Playdate youth culture magazine (1961-1972). This was the era when fashion and clothing imports were generally banned.

The magazine’s initial focus was movies but it broadened to include music and fashion. Playdate was used by clothing manufacturers to reach young women and sell their new fab styles while the magazine’s fashion spreads also included designs from local indie boutiques such as Hadny 5, Annie Bonza, and Paraphernalia.

Larry’s Rebels, Pat Hanly
Projection images include the mini-skirts and go-go action of C’Mon! and Larry’s Rebels and The Underdogs in fashion pictorials.

As ’60s male hair styles grew longer and the San Francisco hippie scene captivated the world, Playdate covered the changes and used young photographers such as Roger Donaldson, Kim Goldwater and Max Thomson to shoot hip fashion spreads; young illustrators who appeared in Playdate included Pat Hanly.

“One advertising executive who kept print advertisements contemporary was a young Bob Harvey (McHarman Associates).”

Advertisements in Playdate were not only for clothes; as the decade progressed banks started to market cheque accounts to independent young women and cigarette adverts embraced cool corduroy styles.

By the end of the decade there was a chasm between the conservative styles of the New Zealand clothing manufacturers and the youth culture that was represented by the movie Easy Rider (1969) and rock icons such as Jimi Hendrix.

As Playdate magazine embraced the music of the Woodstock generation, local manufacturers gave up on the jeans and t-shirts generation.

One advertising executive who kept print advertisements contemporary was a young Bob Harvey (McHarman Associates) whose ads for the Maggy brand fitted in with the rapidly evolving music and youth culture of the sixties.

Playdate was owned by the Kerridge Odeon movie theatre chain. The editor Des Dubbelt was adventurous and extended the magazine’s editorial beyond movies into music and lifestyle. The Kerridge Odeon company also moved into music and toured The Beatles and hosted nationwide theatre tours such as the C’Mon! On Stage and Golden Disc Spectacular.

60s Style in Playdate Magazine free projected exhibition will be held at Ellen Melville Centre from Friday 27 July to Friday 17 August weekdays from 9am-5pm (on the Helen Clark Room big screen) and after hours on the TV screen in the window.

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