Back in the 1980s we were involved in an exhibition curated by Charles Eldridge that toured the United States called Pacific Parallels. As part of the deal we got a free trip to Kansas (seriously) to talk at the university in Lawrence. We were there at the same time as Peter Peryer who was included in the exhibition. When the three of us turned up to give our talks to a crowd of around 200, we were all wearing black although we could have been dressed in tutus for the shock it caused. Apparently another NZer in the exhibition had arrived the previous month also head to toe in black and what had been seen as personal eccentricity began to seem like a national characteristic. We were asked if everyone in New Zealand dressed this way. Of course we said yes and like to think NZ style has become something of a legend in Lawrence, Kansas.
This is really just a set-up so we can move on to an RWC-related exhibition we saw in Auckland called Black in fashion (we stand by our post title). It was a mini-survey of black garments worn by NZ celebrities over the years, and there in the centre was our own man in black Gary Langsford of the Gow Langsford Gallery. He was quoted on the label as saying he always wore black so he didn’t conflict with the art. Wish we’d thought of that in Kansas.
Image: Gary Langsford avatar sits it out at Black in fashion