Collection Stories

Flair and Flamboyance

Rick Rudd purchased this sophisticated example of 1970s men’s fashion not long before he immigrated to New Zealand.

Noted Whanganui Potter Rick Rudd purchased this striking three-piece man’s suit and shirt from the menswear section of department store C&A in Ipswich, England, in 1973. Rudd had just finished art school and was about to do some relief teaching.

The ensemble embodies the colour and flamboyance of the 1970s, when men’s clothing experimented with colours, patterns, and styles. The suit is made from a wool-polyester weave with polyester lining and the shirt is made from a poly-cotton textured weave.

Rudd wore the shirt with a paisley patterned tie. Black and purple platform shoes completed the outfit. Rudd remembers he made quite a sensation wearing this bold and vibrant suit when he arrived in rather more conservative New Zealand.

Rick Rudd (born 1949) is one of New Zealand’s leading studio potters. He has won numerous pottery awards and his work is included in most of the museum and art gallery collections in New Zealand. He runs Quartz, the Museum of Studio Ceramics in Whanganui, the only one of its kind in the country.

Noted Whanganui potter Rick Rudd in the hallway of his home in Herne Bay, around 1979. Photographed by Dave Roberts. WRM 2003.66.4

By Dr Bronwyn Labrum, Pou Ārahi/Director at Whanganui Regional Museum.

Main image: Man’s three-piece suit and shirt, 1973
Manufactured by C&A, United Kingdom
Suit made from twill wool-polyester weave, with polyester lining; shirt made from poly-cotton textured weave
Donated by Rick Rudd, 2003
Photographed by Kathy Greensides
WRM 2003.66.2 & 3

View the full-length image

Karen Hughes

10 June 2024

Fashion Talks