From around 1966, chic discothèques such as the Thumpin’ Tum, Bertie’s and the Biting Eye catered to Melbourne teens and twenty-somethings keen to experience the swinging sixties. This talk explores the fashions featured at these venues – men’s fashions in particular – captured in intimate photographs taken by Go-Set! magazine photographer Jim Colbert. From neo-Edwardian cravats and tailored corduroy suits to all-white “mod” ensembles of t-shirts, gymboots and slimline jeans, Colbert’s photographs contain dazzling evidence of hip young Melbourne’s men’s approach to fashion in the late sixties and seventies.
Melissa Bellanta is an award-winning social and cultural historian based at the Australian Catholic University. She is currently a research fellow at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, has an Australian Research Council grant to work on a history of men’s relationship to dress in twentieth-century Australia, and blogs at Coat Tales.