Posts written by Gareth Watkins

‘I feel his presence in these images’: The photographs of George Crombie

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Working in a museum is filled with unexpected discoveries – especially when you’re looking at photographs from 100 years ago. Collections Data Technician Gareth Watkins uncovers the life of an avid photographer whose photographs offered something different from the norm. These tender and idyllic images were captured by Dunedin-based photographer George Pye Crombie around 1912. They feature women – most… Read more »

Faces in the crowd: Zooming in on our photography collection

Boys sit in a grandstand with one hiding his face behind a sheet of paper

If you look close enough you might find things you missed. Collections Data Technician Gareth Watkins uncovers the characters hidden in plain sight. I’ve always been fascinated with photographs of crowds. You get a palpable sense of in-the-moment energy and anticipation as spectators watch an event unfold before them, for example at a rugby game. But… Read more »

Starfish: An unexpected journey

  • CA001202/002/0001 – Laurie Foon business notebook; circa 1997; photograph by Gareth Watkins
  • CA001203/014/0004 - Starfish’s Wellington store; November 2006; Grant Maiden Photography
  • CA001200/004/0004 - Marketing image for the Grey Gardens (Winter 2007) Laurie Foon fashion collection, featuring the Fallen from Grace dress co-designed by Carleen Schollum
  • CA001203/001/0001 –Digital copy of a photograph of Laurie Foon and Rena Kohere receiving the National Sustainable Business Award 2007; 2007; Unknown (Starfish was the first fashion label to win a NZ Sustainable Business Award.)

Te Papa’s assistant archivist Gareth Watkins is going through Starfish’s archive, recently gifted to Te Papa. This final blog looks at the series of events that led to the fashion label’s closure in 2013. The 2000s were a highpoint for Laurie Foon and the Starfish fashion label. In 2003 Laurie established the luxury label LAURIE FOON, there… Read more »

How Rita Angus landscapes inspired a Starfish collection

  • Text from Laurie Foon notebook
  • Heirloom workbook featuring fabric scraps and a postcard of a painting by RIta Angus
  • Text from Laurie Foon notebook
  • starfish-notes-1-1000wide

It’s not every day that you get to delve into the nitty-gritty details of a fashion label. Te Papa’s assistant archivist Gareth Watkins is going through Starfish’s archive, recently gifted to Te Papa. Read his first blog here. “It’s my product. It’s my vision. It’s my dream. It’s my life,” writes Laurie Foon, founder of the Starfish… Read more »

Telling stories through fashion: A history of eco-friendly Starfish

Printed fabric samples from the Wonderland collection, Winter 2006, CA001200/004/0002. Photograph by Gareth Watkins

It’s not every day that you get to delve into the nitty-gritty details of a fashion label. Te Papa’s assistant archivist Gareth Watkins is going through Starfish’s archive, recently gifted to Te Papa. I’m sitting in a popular Wellington café with Te Papa archivist Jennifer Twist and Laurie Foon – founder of the Wellington-based Starfish fashion… Read more »