Powerhouse Museum sidelines Microcars exhibition for fashion week runway show

“The Powerhouse has a rich history of supporting Australian fashion throughout generations. From Jenny Kee to Romance Was Born – and today a future face of the industry, Jordan Gogos. ”

The opposition’s arts spokesperson Walt Secord said the NSW taxpayer had a right to know how their money was being spent and if they were getting value for money.

Secord pointed to events in 2018 when the former director of the Powerhouse stepped down amid revelations that its inaugural fashion ballSydney’s so-called answer to the New York Met Gala, was a massive loss-maker.

“At every stage and at every step involving the Powerhouse Museum, we see this government splashing cash every which way,” he said.

But Franklin said the museum was involved as part of its remit to support creative industries and a new generation of designers – in particular, an emerging young artist from Sydney’s south, whose creative practice celebrates inclusivity, diversity and community.


Costs associated with the event were absorbed within the existing Powerhouse operational budget. The museum assisted with production elements of the runway event, but no collaborators were paid by the Powerhouse as part of the event.

Gogos’ label ISG is based in the Harwood building of the Powerhouse Ultimo, one of more than 20 brands offered studio workspace at the museum to collaborate with staff and “deliver research and public programming outcomes”.

Museum consultant and trustee Kylie Winkworth said it was not for the museum to put its taxpayer-funded resources at the disposal of an unknown designer.

“There is a difference between a designer holding a parade at a cultural venue like the Art Gallery of NSW under the usual venue hire provisions, and what the Powerhouse Museum is doing which is putting the entire resources of the institution behind one young designer, to actually develop and produce their parade for a small invited audience, ”she said.


Former fashion editor and Powerhouse trustee Kellie Hush said collaborations with cultural institutions were common globally and at this week’s Fashion Week, with offsite shows staged at Ken Done Gallery, the Art Gallery of NSW, and the Sydney Opera House.

“Because it is a form of art, a form of artistic expression, and cultural expression and captures time and place, that’s why fashion is so important when you look at history,” she said. “Coco Chanel made ready-to-wear but John Gaultier made pieces of art.”

Gogos’ collection will be exhibited in the museum over the next 12 months and will also appear in a touring exhibition.

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