Vivien St James 1965 – 2009

Vivien is an exhibition that allows the public a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the unique costume collection of one of Melbourne’s most iconic and respected performers.

Art Exhibition previously on at fortyfivedownstairs in Australia.
From Monday 18 January 2010 to Sunday 31 January 2010

Vivien St James image

Published by fortyfivedownstairs on Friday 04 December 2009.
Contact the publisher.

Through costume we see the evolution of a personality and profession spanning a twenty-year period of contemporary queer culture. Viewers will see how one woman’s personal journey of transformation is realised to a state of perfection through her impeccable attention to detail and unique sense of style.

Throughout her career Vivien St James was focused on the continual construction and development of her identity and this evolution of self is evident in her vast collection of clothing, jewelry and costume. Vivien had always remained in total creative control of her appearance, a skill she acquired from studying the great Hollywood stars such as Marlene Dietrich. Knowing that appearances are everything,Vivien utilised this concept to its full extent, employing the services of many talented snd creative people to construct her glamorous larger than life identity.

This exhibition features a selection of Vivien’s vast personal costume collection and showcases the work of some of Melbourne’s top clothing and costume designers, artists and photographers and aims to illustrate how they contributed in the building of Vivien’s public persona.

45 Flinders Lane Melbourne 3000
Tue – Fri 11am to 5pm, Sat 12pm to 4pm
free admission