Powerhouse Museum marginalizes Microcars exhibit for fashion week show

“Powerhouse has a rich history of supporting Australian fashion across generations. From Jenny Kee to Romance Was Born – and today a future face of the industry, Jordan Gogos.”

Opposition arts spokesman Walt Secord said the NSW taxpayer has a right to know how their money is being spent and whether they are getting value for money.

Secord pointed to events in 2018 when the former Powerhouse director stepped down amid revelations that his inaugural fashion ball, Sydney’s so-called answer to New York’s Met Gala, was a big loser.

“At every stage and at every stage involving the Powerhouse Museum, we see this government squandering money in every way,” he said.

But Franklin said the museum was involved as part of its mission to support creative industries and a new generation of designers — in particular, an emerging young artist from southern Sydney, whose creative practice celebrates inclusion, diversity and community.


The costs associated with the event were absorbed within Powerhouse’s existing operating budget. The museum assisted with the production elements of the catwalk event, but no contributors were paid by Powerhouse as part of the event.

Gogos’ ISG label is headquartered in the Harwood building of Powerhouse Ultimo, one of more than 20 brands that have offered studio workspace at the museum to collaborate with staff and “deliver research results and public programming.”

Museum consultant and administrator Kylie Winkworth said it was not up to the museum to put its taxpayer-funded resources at the disposal of an unknown designer.

“There is a difference between a designer running a show at a cultural venue like the NSW Art Gallery under the usual venue rental provisions, and what the Powerhouse Museum is doing, which is putting all the institution’s resources into a young man. designer, to really develop and produce her show for a small guest audience,” she said.


Former fashion editor and Powerhouse administrator Kellie Hush said collaborations with cultural institutions are commonplace around the world and at this week’s Fashion Week, with outside shows held at the Ken Done Gallery, the Art Gallery of NSW and at the Sydney Opera House.

“Because it’s an art form, a form of artistic and cultural expression and it captures a time and a place, that’s why fashion is so important when you look at history,” she said. “Coco Chanel made ready-to-wear, but John Gaultier made art.”

The Gogos collection will be on display at the museum over the next 12 months and will also appear in a traveling exhibition.

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