This book was issued in conjunction with the Australian Legends: Fashion Designers stamp issue in 2005. It was written by Melbourne fashion writer Zelda Cawthorne. The `Prue Acton' chapter is illustrated with photographs from the Prue Acton collection at RMIT featuring clothing items in the Museum Victoria Collection. Most photographs by Lucas Allen.

Physical Description

Soft covered 64 page book, heavily illustrated throughout, with chapters covering each of the six Australian designers featured as part of the Australian Legends: Fashion Designers stamp issue.


Australia Post launched the Australian Legends Awards in 1997 to `honour living Australians who have made a unique contribution to our way of life, inspired the community and influenced the way Australians think about themselves and their country'. The first recipient was Sir Donald Bradman, and this was the first time that a living person, besides the Queen, had been featured on an Australian Stamp. Since then sportspeople, artists, scientists, performers and the ANZACS have been featured. In 2005, it was decided to pay tribute to the Australian Fashion Industry, focusing on six individuals (three from Melbourne and three from Sydney.) They were selected by Australia Post for `contribution to the evolution of contemporary Australian fashion as well as their influence on our national identity' as well as their ability to `bring their creative vision to life through inspiration, hard work and a canny sense for business.' (from the Australia Post website).
Prue Acton was born in Benalla, Victoria, in 1943. She completed a Diploma of Art (majoring in Textiles) in 1962 and, the following year, started up her own company (in Flinders Lane) with a loan from her parents. She was the first Australia designer to break into the American market, after a successful visit to New York in 1967. Prue received a number of awards during her career, including 5 Australian Wool Board Awrds, 3 David Jones Awards for Fashion Excellence and four Fashion Industry of Australia Lyrebird Awards, as well as receiving an OBE in 1982. After closing her business in the late 1980s, she now works as a fulltime painter.

These items add to the Museum's Prue Acton collection, supplementing the number of awards and other accolades that Prue Acton received during her company's operation and in the years after. This particular award, bestowed almost 20 years after Prue closed her business, reflects the admiration held by sections of the community of Prue both as a designer and as a business person. In light of the significance of this award, Museum Victoria made the unprecedented act of loaning four garments from the Prue Acton collection to the fashion parade held as part of the Australia Day Lunch in Melbourne and Sydney (held concurrently on Friday 21st January, 2005) where the Fashion Designer stamps were launched (still and moving documentation of this is being provided by the event organisers.)

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