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Pretty Gentlemen


Sun 7 Oct 2018, 10:30am–12:00pm

Where: Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, 55 Cable Street, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Public: $25.00
  • Member (Friends of Te Papa): $20.00
  • Student: $15.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Friends of Te Papa

How did men’s fashion become a form of style politics and youth rebellion in the past and what were they resisting?

Macaroni men were the English ultra-fashionables of the 1760s-80s, and their extravagant and ostentatious mode of fashion assumed a social and political significance beyond its immediate importance in the history of fashion.

Their tight suits, clashing colours, high wigs, steel buttons and jewelled snuffboxes indicated a cosmopolitan, fashion-centric outlook, with their own speech and slang. The macaronis included a politician (Charles James Fox), a court painter (Richard Cosway), a criminal parson (Rev. William Dodd), a freed slave (‘Soubise’) and a gentleman-scientist (Sir Joseph Banks).

Dr Peter McNeil is a world figure in fashion research and has worked globally between Australia, Sweden and Finland. Currently Distinguished Professor of Design History at University of Technology Sydney and Finland Distinguished Professor at Aalto University, he was Foundation Professor of Fashion Studies at Stockholm University for ten years.

He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and heads its ‘Arts’ Section. An award winning author and sought-after public speaker, he has published dozens of works on fashion including the bestselling Shoes (with G Riello 2006; 2011). Recent works include Luxury: A Rich History (with G Riello 2016) and Pretty Gentlemen: Macaroni Men and the Eighteenth-Century Fashion World (Yale, 2018).

His works have been translated into many languages including Chinese and Hebrew. He was main writer for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s touring exhibition Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015, the largest show of men’s fashion ever assembled.

Tickets cost, includes a 20% discount voucher from Te Papa cafes, Levels 1 & 2 and free parking.

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