The partnership between Hazel Benini, a New Zealand born stylist and Italian photographer Bruno Benini shaped up to be one of the most influential relationships in the history of Australian fashion. Working alongside photographers like Helmut Newton, the pair married and established a studio in Melbourne, capturing five decades of fashion evolution, from the elegant 50s right up until the photographer’s death in 2001. This retrospective draws on the recently acquired Benini archives, fusing impressive fashion photography with technical and biographical insights. Interviews with Benini’s collaborators and models including Hazel Benini, Jan Stewart and Janice Wakely bring the photographs to life. The exhibition also examines how designers, models, make-up artists, hair stylists, fashion editors, props and locations all contribute to creating a single shot that encapsulates an era.
‘Creating the Look: Benini and fashion photography’ is on at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney 31 July 2010 – February 2011.