Jenny Kee is an Australian icon, an artist and a stylist who was way before her time. She received media attention early in life after reportedly being the ‘Chinese Dragon Lady’ who turned John Lennon onto Asian women during The Beatles Australian tour. She doesn’t deny this in her autobiography, ‘A Big Life” which I recently finished reading.
The book describes her full and rich life, her rock star dalliances, her days as a Biba dollybird and her love of vintage clothing. What I most admire Jenny for is her extremely style-forward store Flamingo Park, which she opened with business partner, Linda Jackson in the seventies. The store stocked vintage wears and clothing designed by both Linda and Jenny.
The first is a sketch by Jenny. She excelled mainly at fabric design and also knitwear. Her Australiana knitwear is still highly coveted today. The second two pieces are from Linda. She interpreted her love for Australia in a number of different ways. The first picture shows her interpretation of a Black Galah while the second is a more obvious ode to Australian wildflowers.
They introduced the concept of Australiana to the world and it was embraced by people as diverse as Princess Diana and Karl Lagerfield. Even though she achieved so much for Australian fashion, the other things that I admire about her are her passion for the things she created, her staunch beliefs in what she did and her incredible way of giving herself completely to everything she did.