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Lectures & Workshops 

Details of the full program of lectures for the period February to June 2015 will be up on our webpage in mid January.

The Johnston Collection is administered as an independent not-for-profit museum by The W R Johnston Trust.

PLEASE NOTE:    A $3.50 booking fee applies for online bookings. This covers banking costs and fees charged to us by our ticketing provider for online sales.  An $8.00 booking and administration fee applies for telephone bookings.  Thank you for your understanding.


Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program Project Series 2015

We are delighted to announce that we are a participant in the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival's Cultural Program Project Series 2015 with two special lectures at The Johnston Collection in February. Fashion in Literature - Out Loud with Lise Rodgers is on Thursday 19 February and 1980s Fashion | From the Street to the Museum with Dr Peter McNeil on Tuesday 24 February 2015.

The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is an annual celebration of fashion, beauty, business and creative endeavour for everyone to enjoy.


FASHION IN LITERATURE - OUT LOUD | 3 ladies of style: 3 authors, 3 eras, 3 continents
Thursday 19 February 2015, 10.15 am to 11.45 am $20 / $18

Descriptions of what a character is wearing can be so evocative of their personality and lifestyle, so rich with information about times gone by. At the mention of silks and chiffons, exotic colours or haute couture we sigh with admiration, imagining, as we turn the page, a world of perfect beauty. But life is not always what it seems behind a beautifully dressed façade.

LISE RODGERS is an accomplished Melbourne actress whose career has spanned stage, screen and radio. Widely known for her ongoing Jane Austen series of performances, it is her passion for the spoken word that has inspired this new venture – Literature Out Loud.

1980s FASHION | From the Street to the Museum
Tuesday 24 February 2015, 10.15 am to 11.45 am $20 / $18

This lecture considers the role of historicism and the reworking of 'classics' or fashion types as a means to generate new meanings for fashion. Vivienne Westwood is the focus, a designer whose process is informed by surviving artefacts, representations of dress, and allusion to history, zeitgeist (mood), and socio-cultural change. The clothes that emerge are never copies but fantasies of fashion moments that are mythical and romantic. The unity of pre-war dressing is replaced by the fragmentation of the body. The shoes no longer have to match the bag.

DR PETER McNEIL is Professor of Design History at the University of Technology Sydney and Foundation Professor of Fashion Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden. He is the author of numerous publications including ten works on fashion, including the best-selling Shoes, also translated into Italian (with Giorgio Riello 2006; 2011). Current book projects include the ‘long’ history of luxury, supported by the UK Leverhulme Trust and fashion writing from the 17th century to the present day.

Vivienne Westwood, 1994 S/S Collection: Cafe Society