Breadcrumb navigation

60s Style in Playdate Magazine

27 Jul 2018 - 17 Aug 2018


Friday 27 July 2018, 9.00am - Friday 17 August 2018, 5.00pm

Weekdays from 9am-5pm on the Helen Clark Room big screen and after hours on the TV screen in the window


Ellen Melville Centre, cnr Freyberg Place and High St, Auckland CBD

Show map

Helen Clark Room on Freyberg Place


Leesa Tilley

021 243 6899


Fashion Week is almost here and to celebrate, the Ellen Melville Centre, in conjunction with magazine maestro Murray Cammick, presents a retrospective look at Kiwi fashion as seen on Auckland’s High St, Vulcan Lane and on the sets of the C’mon! Pop music show, shot in the Shortland St TV studios.

This projection show features swinging 60s fashion images from the pages of PLAYDATE magazine. As youth culture boomed in the 1960s, the local magazine that documented the move from staid styles to mod fashion was PLAYDATE (1961 to 1972).

The magazine’s initial focus was movies but it broadened to include music and fashion. PLAYDATE was used by clothing manufacturers to reach young women and sell their new fab styles while the magazine’s fashion spreads also included designs from local indie boutiques such as Hadny 5, Annie Bonza, and Paraphernalia.

As clothing imports were banned in the 1960s Kiwi teens had to accept local knock-offs of London’s Carnaby Street styles or they had to go D.I.Y. on mum’s sewing machine. Projection images include the mini-skirts and go-go action of the teen TV show C’Mon! and Larry’s Rebels and The Underdogs in fashion pictorials.

As 60s male hairstyles grew longer and the San Francisco hippie scene captivated the world, PLAYDATE covered the changes and used young photographers such as Roger Donaldson, Kim Goldwater and Max Thomson to shoot hip fashion spreads. Young illustrators who appeared in PLAYDATE included Pat Hanly.

Ads in PLAYDATE were not only for clothes, as the decade progressed Banks started to market cheque accounts to independent young women and cigarette adverts embraced cool corduroy styles.

By the end of the decade, there was a chasm between the conservative styles of the NZ clothing manufacturers and the youth culture that was represented by the movie Easy Rider (1969) and rock icons such as Jimi Hendrix. As PLAYDATE magazine embraced the music of the Woodstock generation, local manufacturers gave up on the jeans and t-shirts generation.

One advertising executive who kept print adverts contemporary was a young Bob Harvey whose adverts for the Maggy brand fitted in with the rapidly evolving music and youth culture of the sixties.

PLAYDATE was owned by the Kerridge Odeon movie theatre chain. The editor Des Dubbelt was adventurous and extended the magazine’s editorial beyond movies into music and lifestyle. The Kerridge Odeon company also moved into music and toured The Beatles and hosted nationwide theatre tours such as the C’Mon! On Stage and Golden Disc Spectacular.

A 1965 advert to encourage young women to save has images of ‘Denise and her exciting future’: car ownership, travel and her wedding day. The editors of PLAYDATE depicted a more modern young woman – twisting, hitchhiking and surfing.