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Karen Walker To Exhibit Alongside Fashion’s Elite


New Zealand fashion icon included in
stellar exhibition in United States

Seattle, Washington, United States – 7 April 2003. Leading New Zealand fashion icon Karen Walker has been invited to appear alongside a collection of industry luminaries, including Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Issey Miyake, at an exclusive art and fashion exhibition in the United States.

The exhibition, which runs from May through to August at Seattle’s Bellevue Art Museum, is titled Fashion: The Greatest Show on Earth and contains the work of twenty of the world’s leading designers. The show looks at how fashion houses and designers have drawn from political activism, theatre and popular culture to create a new form of performance art in the runway show. Incorporating clothing, video, performance and garments from leading couturiers and designers, the curators hope to illustrate the various connections between performance art and fashion, and how they depend on each other to inspire daring new concepts and projects. Walker’s involvement in the exhibition comes as a result of her increasing prominence on the international stage - and the importance she places on originality and ideas.

The exhibition will showcase a concept Karen Walker presented at the Australian Fashion Week 2000, where she stole the show after giving spectators the opportunity to select their own music with personal CD players. It proved to be a huge hit with fashion media and followers. Walker’s innovation with the show complemented her ‘Etiquette’ collection, where her take on tails, pearls and slinky daywear earned her high praise from the international media.

After hearing of her invitation to participate, Walker was delighted. “The most important thing for us is originality - strong ideas and concepts,” she says. “The presentation of a collection is an integral part of communicating the collection’s concept. Shows for us aren’t about just sending models down a runway, nor are they about silly gimmicks, they’re about originality and communicating the collection’s idea.

Walker says ‘Etiquette’s’ concept was about rule breaking and freedom of choice. “The clothes showed this by breaking traditional rules and mixing up opposites not normally seen together. We wanted to extend that same freedom of choice and rule breaking concept into all areas of the collection, including giving the audience the freedom to choose their own soundtrack to the show.”

The Seattle exhibition will feature Walker’s now famous broken pearl dress from ‘Etiquette’, a video of the show and a personal CD player with the original soundtrack selection so the audience at the exhibition can experience how choosing your own music, or silence, can fundamentally alter the feel of a show.

Walker says the exhibition is in recognition of the fashion and art worlds crossing over. “Fashion has become a modern art currency. It’s a form of expression and a statement that lives out on the street more than in the gallery. The crossover between art and fashion has been inherent in the two mediums for ever, and this exhibition is a celebration of it.”

“Being included in this exhibition is recognition for the hard work we’ve put in to stand out alongside the world’s best,” says Walker. “We’re flattered and excited to be included alongside such incredible designers.”

Now internationally recognised as a designer, Walker’s clothes can be found in around 100 fashion stores around the world and are worn by celebrities such as Madonna, Shirley Manson and Cate Blanchett.


For more information and interviews with Karen Walker:
Catherine Etheredge 025 276 9712, 09 309 1494,

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