This jacket and cap were designed by Rosalie 'Rosa' Kiessling about 1967. They formed part of the Fashion Group Inc's Walkabout Tour of the USA in 1967 which aimed to promote Australian fashion design in America.
German by birth Rosalie, grew up skiing and ice skating, studied fashion design in Munich and worked designing women’s ski wear and lingerie before migrating to Australia via New Zealand in 1939 with her husband. As skiing increased in popularity following the end of WWII, Rosalie’s business grew reaching its peak during the 1960s. Though it was never large; at most she employed three staff.
Her designs featured in the pages of Australian Vogue, Flair and the Women’s Weekly throughout the 1960s and received coverage from newspapers in Australia, New Zealand the United States. Rosalie was closely involved with the Swiss Club of Victoria, the Australian Wool Board and the Fur Traders Association, participating in numerous fashion shows and awards run by these groups. In the late 1960s she became involved with the Melbourne Branch of the Fashion Group Inc, a worldwide non-commercial association of women involved in the fashion industry.
Rosalie continued to design and manufacture fashionable but functional ski wear until the late 1970s, although increasing imports from large overseas manufactures and constant new innovations in fabric technology made it difficult for her to compete in a relatively small industry.
This ski jacket and cap illustrate Rosalie Kiessling's emphasis on practical glamour. She was the first Australian ski wear manufacturer to bring high fashion to ski wear design; which though common in the boutiques of St Mortiz, Chamonix and St Anton was new to Australia. The use of an Australian wildflower motif and of these pieces in the Fashion Group's Walkabout Tour also speak to her involvement in and promotion of the Australian fashion industry during the 1960s.
Ski jacket and matching cap appliqued with Australian wildflowers.
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