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Jo and David Dunlap

The Dunlaps were keen amateur leather garment designers. Jo had trained as a nurse and teacher and worked as a photographer, display artist, fashion designer and dressmaker, while her husband David was an aircraft engineer. For some of the 1970s the Dunlaps lived in Australia and designed and made some of their outfits there. David Dunlap’s outfits in the Eden Hore Collection are well crafted. For example, ‘Midas Touch’ consists of a light brown and bright gold yellow suede and leather jacket trimmed with white rabbit fur and flared trousers that Velcro apart at the knee to leave matadors, while the flares can be reassembled into a skirt. ‘Midas Touch’ was entered in 1977 Australian Gown of the Year coordinates section. ‘Ensenada’, entered in 1978 Australian Gown of the Year coordinates section, is a four-piece creation with a calfskin jacket and skirt worn with soft leather laced shirt and brief shorts. Jo’s deerskin trimmed four-piece leather suit in brown (jacket, gauchos, hat and satin bodysuit), made for the 1979 Benson and Hedges Fashion Awards coordinates section, is relatively traditional, but two outfits from 1978 entered into the Australian Gown of the Year competition were rather less so. One, “Solar Flare’ has a body section of flame shapes made of New Zealand leather, hand dyed red and machine embroidered in yellows and oranges, with sleeves and culottes of three layers (red, pink and yellow) of nylon chiffon cut very full and edged with ruffles. Jo worked with fabrics other than leather too, and two of these creations are in the collection: ‘Cosmic Gold’ (1978) and ‘Electra’ (1976).

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