Designers drew light from shadow

Exhibition explores link between HIV/AIDS and fashion

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LIGHT AND SHADE: Couture from Fabrice and Patrick Kelly.

LIGHT AND SHADE: Couture from Fabrice and Patrick Kelly.


An exhibition pays tribute to fashion designers who died during the AIDS epidemic.


The HIV/AIDS epidemic cast a dark shadow over their lives, but they still managed to brighten people's days with some incredible designs.

A new exhibition at the David Roche Foundation House Museum explores the lives and works of talented artists, designers and activists whose lives were cut short by AIDS related illness.

Silhouettes: Fashion in the Shadow of HIV/AIDS showcases more than 100 pieces of fashion, art and ephemera - sourced from private and public collections from the UK, Europe, US and Australia.

It features the work of well known designers such as Halston and Franco Moschino.

It also shines a light on lesser known names including Patrick Kelly, Fabrice Simon, Willi Smith, Clovis Ruffin and Chester Weinberg, raising awareness of their contributions during a pivotal moment in human history.

Guest curator Skye Bartlett said fashion became an important tool of HIV/AIDS activism, leading to social and political advancement.

"Australians Peter Tully, David McDiarmid and Brenton Heath-Kerr brought this struggle to our streets with passion and panache," Skye said.

The exhibition also marks 40 years since the emergence of the auto immune virus.

The David Roche Foundation House Museum is located at 241 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide and is open from 10am-4pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

The exhibition runs until June 18. Concession tickets are $10 and entry for children under 12 is free.

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