Jenny Kee in October 2012
January 24, 1947 |
Jenny Kee (born 24 January 1947) is an Australian fashion designer. She was born in Bondi to a Chinese father and a sixth-generation Australian mother of Italian/Anglo Saxon descent. Kee started her career in fashion in modelling, at one time featuring as the face of Canadian Airlines advertisements. She was married to Australian artist Michael Ramsden for 21 years.
In 1965 she moved to London and became involved in the Swinging London and underground scene, where she sold ethnic and retro clothes, cast-off Dior clothes, and Indian embroideries to a hippy clientele at the Chelsea Antique Market for Vern Lambert.
She was in a long-term relationship with artist Danton Hughes, son of the art critic Robert Hughes. Danton Hughes committed suicide in their Blackheath home in 2001.
In 2006, she published her autobiography and account of her life in swinging London, A Big Life.
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 in 1973 opened a fashion boutique, Flamingo Park. and started collaborating with fashion and textile designer Linda Jackson to create a national fashion identity. They formed a partnership creating outfits including bright and colourful pure Australian wool knitted jumpers with fauna and flora emblems. Among them was a knitted koala jumper that was owned by the then Lady Diana Spencer. The waratah featured strongly in her work. 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.
- Power house museum
- Trioli, Virginia (22 October 2006). "Interview Transcripts: Jenny Kee". ABC Television – Sunday Arts. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
- "Australians: Jenny Kee (1947-)". ABC Website. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
- Newstead, Adrian, The Dealer is the Devil: An Insider's History of the Aboriginal Art Trade, Brandl and Schlesinger, 2014, pp. 462, 502
- 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.
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