Early 1960s straight out of Flinders Lane Melbourne, Australia’s own Prue Acton at only 21 years of age was turning over 350 designs a year and selling an average of 1000 dresses a week through eighty outlets in Australia and New Zealand.
In 1967 she became the first Australia female designer to mount a show of her own range of garments in New York. By 1982 the estimated world wide sales of her designs were $11 million. Like her British contemporary Mary Quant, her designs captured the mood of the Swinging Sixties and earned her an international reputation. It is because of this she is known as Australia’s ‘golden girl of fashion’, but Prue Acton describes herself as “an artist who chooses to work in the field of fashion”.
Prue’s signature styles and design elements have included ‘gangster’ pants suit, the ‘baby vamp’, the mini skirt; pintucked baby doll, the catsuit, the romantic look, capes, leatherwear, hardware (chains, brass buttons, studs), the pantsdress, culottes, battle jackets, peasant style, cut-outs, the wet look, the maxi, the tunic top, the coat dress, fake fur, the midi, delta style, the poncho, the layered look, bib and braces, gaucho, animal prints, knitted tops, cropped jackets, Beardsley-influenced prints, the tartar look, the tapestry look, mix and match, pinafore pants, hotpants, ‘brickie knickers’ and patchwork suedes.
Prue Acton also designed the Australian Olympic uniforms (1978, Lake Placid, USA); (1984, Los Angeles); (1988, Seoul). The 1984 Olympic uniform captured the essence of the 80s, fitted pants, native animal motifs and over-sized accessories such as a gum leaf necklace and matching belt.
Click here to view the showcase of Prue Actons extensive collection