Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson announced as City of Joondalup’s 2019 Urban Couture ambassadors

Jenny Kee. Photo: Getty Images
Jenny Kee. Photo: Getty Images

FASHION icons Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson have been announced as the City of Joondalup’s Urban Couture ambassadors for 2019.

Kee and Jackson are possibly best known for their chunky-knit koala jumper that Diana, Princess of Wales was photographed wearing at a polo match.

The image of Diana in the jumper, with a koala on the front and map of Australia on the back, made headlines around the world, which resulted in their store being bombarded with orders for knitwear.

They were also asked to design a ‘Blinki Di’ version for The Australian Women’s Weekly readers to make at home.

Jackson said it was an honour for her and Kee to be the Urban Couture ambassadors and they were looking forward to coming to Joondalup.

“It means a lot to us as it coincides with us researching into our archives for several fabulous projects,” she said.

“Working together in Sydney in the ‘70s saw the beginning of our collaboration and long-term friendship, and it is timely that we can share some of our colourful stories with the young artists and designers in Western Australia.

“It will be exciting for us to see the innovation that is happening in Joondalup and we are looking forward to being involved in so many special programs.”

Now in its eighth year, Urban Couture is a program that aims to support the WA fashion industry and bring emerging designers, photographers, textile artists and creative business entrepreneurs to the northern corridor of Perth.

Each year the program also engages with fashion and costume design students at ECU, Curtin University and North and South Metropolitan TAFE campuses.

Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee. Picture: Caroline McCredie/Getty Images

Kee was born in Sydney in 1947 to a Chinese father and Italian mother.

She worked with stylist and vintage trailblazer Vern Lambert at London’s Chelsea Antique Market, and for more than 40 years her work has appeared on silk, paper, wool, ceramics and canvas.

Her designs are world-renowned and exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian National Gallery, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Marimura Museum in Tokyo and Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

Jackson was born in Melbourne in 1950 and is a designer, fashion retailer and artist.

In the 1970s she collaborated with artists such as David McDiarmid and Peter Tully, who hand-painted fabrics for Jackson’s dresses and provided jewellery to complement her outfits.

Jackson has travelled throughout outback Australia, living and working with Aboriginal communities.

She was one of many Australian artists and fashion designers featured in the exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum called Australian Fashion: the Contemporary Art.

In last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, both designers were appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for their service to the Australian fashion industry and contributions to the environment and conservation.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said securing Kee and Jackson as Urban Couture ambassadors was a huge coup for the City.

“From their influential Bush Couture studio to establishing their boutique Flamingo Park in Sydney in the 1970s, both Jenny and Linda are pioneers and true legends of the Australian fashion industry,” he said.

“In 2018, Urban Couture supported 14 designers, 15 artists and 10 fashion photographers in a program of 14 events, attracting over 7000 visitors throughout February and March, and we look forward to another successful program in 2019.”

The Urban Couture program runs from March 1 to 24 and features fashion shows, exhibitions, workshops and designer talk nights.

2019 Urban Couture calendar