FASHIONS ALIGN: Penny Vine with a traditional kente cloth ceremonial dress, part of a Border exhibition that combines Australian and African garments. Picture: MARK JESSER
南京夜网

A WORLD of colour that embracestwo continents can be seen, for a few weeks, in a Border display.

Colour Me Beautifulaims to compare and contrast Australian fashions from the past century with the materials and design ofclothes from central Africa.

The latter is a region close to the hearts of Albury-Wodonga members of Organisation for the Development of the Socially Vulnerable, or ODASOV in its French origins.

Money raised through the entry fee will support an education project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Border group’s secretary Penny Vine said the organisation’s work in the war-ravaged countryincluded teaching children and offeringtraining or interest-free loans towomen looking to start businesses.

“They are interested in re-establishing and maintaining the social fabric of the community,” she said.

The exhibition now open at Creators Artspace includes items supplied from 150 Border and North East residents who came from central Africa as well as the Australian fashion collection of curator Rhonda Diffey, who is based in Wangaratta.

Dr Vine said the two strands of fashion wove together well.

“The love of colour is universal and the enjoyment of fashion and beauty is also universal,” she said.

“The interest in patterns is very much there.”

Exhibition items are grouped according to huerather than culture or era, with earthy tones, oranges, reds, greens, browns, blacks andbeige all mingled together.

“When you come into the room the colour is what strikes you,” Dr Vine said.

Among the Australian exhibits are dresses from the 1890s, riding habits from the Edwardian era and intricate 1920s garments sewn by hand.

“Even now, looking at the African gear you find that same attention to detail, done by people not by machines,” she said.

“One dress has got smocking on it, which would have come from the influence of the European women wearing their clothes a hundred years ago.

“We’ve got some amazing Nigerian shoes that are works of art in themselves, a combination of western high heels and Nigerian bling, just amazing to look at,” she said.

Colour Me Beautiful can be seen at Creators Artspace, Gateway Village, 10am to4pm until June 12.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.