In February of 2010 I came across this photo in the State Library of Victoria picture archives:
Little information was supplied save for the subject's name and occupation - she is Charlotte Blau, an Australian fashion designer. There was much about the image I found interesting (not least the gown Blau is shown working on) and my inability to find further information on Blau was a puzzling disappointment.
Imagine my delight then, when yesterday I received an email from Blau's grandson, who has been kind enough to share some additional information about his grandmother.
Before World War Two Blau studied architecture at the famed Bauhaus school in Germany. From the 1950s to the end of the 60s Blau created garments for her label, Charlotte Fifth Avenue Gowns. Apparently she was the first Australian designer to display in all windows at Saks in New York (neat!). Winning the Wool industry gown of the year award five times, Blau's work was photographed by Helmut Newton, Athol Smith, Bruno Bernini.
Blau's life seems so fascinating, I can't wait to learn more!
edit: It seems like some of the photos in the Powerhouse Museum collection might feature Blau's work, but I'll be darned if I can figure out their captioning system: