Jenny Kee

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Jenny Kee in October 2012

Jenny Kee (born 24 January 1947) is an Australian fashion designer. She was born in Bondi to a Cantonese father and a mother of partially Italian descent. Kee started her career in fashion in modelling, at one time featuring as the face of Canadian Airlines advertisements.[1] She was married to Australian artist Michael Ramsden for 21 years.[2]

In 1965 she moved to London and became involved in the Swinging London and underground scene,[3] where she sold ethnic and retro clothes, cast-off Dior clothes, and Indian embroideries to a hippy clientele. While being interviewed for TV series Talking Heads, she claims that during her time in London, she had a brief sexual encounter with John Lennon.[4] She was involved with the filmmaker Philippe Mora[citation needed] and starred in his film, Passion Play, shot in The Pheasantry (1967–68), playing Mary Magdalene.[citation needed]

In 2006, she published her autobiography and account of her life in swinging London, A Big Life.[2]

She features in a memoir by Richard Neville, editor of the Australian satirical magazine Oz, and is portrayed by Nina Liu in the unreleased British film of the book, Hippie Hippie Shake. In 1972 she returned to Australia, and opened a fashion boutique, Flamingo Park.[3] After opening, she was approached by fashion and textile designer Linda Jackson. They formed a partnership to creating outfits including bright and colourful pure Australian wool knitted jumpers with faunal and flora emblems. Among them are a knitted koala jumper that was owned by the then Lady Di. The waratah featured strongly in her work.[5] This period also saw Kee and Jackson collaborate with artists such as David McDiarmid and Peter Tully, who hand-painted fabrics for Jackson's dresses and provided jewellery to complement her outfits. Located in the Strand Arcade in Sydney's central business district, it closed in 1995.[1] Since the death of her second husband, Kee has taken an interest in Tibetan Buddhism.

Jenny Kee and her daughter are survivors of the Granville rail disaster.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Power house museum
  2. ^ a b Trioli, Virginia (22 October 2006). "Interview Transcripts: Jenny Kee". ABC Television – Sunday Arts. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Australians: Jenny Kee (1947-)". ABC Website. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Age and Wisdom". ABC Television – The Late Session series 1 episode 6. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Nice, Rosie (ed.) (2000). State of the Waratah: The Floral Emblem of New South Wales in Legend, Art & Industry. Sydney: Royal Botanic Gardens. p. 56. ISBN 0-7347-2024-6.