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The personal property of Raquel Welch, the legendary bombshell actress who captivated audiences for decades, died in 2023. Her career spanned over 50 years, starring in over 30 films and 50 television series and appearances. Welch first gained attention for her roles in the 1966 films “Fantastic Voyage” and “One Million Years B.C.,” which established her as an iconic sex symbol. Her more recent work included roles in “Legally Blonde” and “How to Be a Latin Lover.”

In addition to acting, Welch was a singer and dancer. She surprised many critics – and won positive reviews – when she starred in the 1981 musical “Woman of the Year” on Broadway, replacing a vacationing Lauren Bacall. She returned to the Great White Way in 1997 in “Victor/Victoria.”’

These two dresses and some pieces by Emilio Pucci will be available for sale at the fair.

Two designer chocolate brown silk gowns with a 1930s style silhouette, one Norma Kamali, and one Richard Tyler. The Norma Kamali is bias-cut satin with a weighted neckline that cowels above the bust and drapes at the back of the shoulders, fitted throughout then goes into a streamlined skirt, labeled Norma Kamali, size 6. The Richard Tyler silk gown is cut on the bias, the design mirrors a 1930s slip dress, with lace straps and trim at the neckline, as well as sheer lace panels at the sides of the bodice, labeled Richard Tyler.

Welch wore the OMO Norma Kamali gown to the 17th Annual CFDA Awards, on February 28, 1998, where she was interviewed on the red carpet saying, “I think fashion is great. It is sort of about the art of being a woman, about style, about attitude, and yes, you can’t always wear the clothes down the street that you see on the runway but it’s about an idea and a feeling.”

Norma Kamali posted a photo on her Instagram of herself and Welch (who the designer’s gown) at the 17th Annual CFDA Awards on February 17, 2023, with the caption “RIP Dear Raquel! You understood female power ahead of so many powerfully strong women. Humor is everything. I so enjoyed dressing one of the most incredible bodies of all time! Thank you for the opportunity  (photos to come of the Emilio Pucci pieces)

Designer Richard Tyler was born in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine in 1946. His mother, Topsie Tyler, was a renowned seamstress, specialising in wedding dresses and theatrical attire (including costumes for the Tivoli Theatre and various ballet and dance companies.) An infrequent school attendee, Tyler spent his days visiting the cinema (where he gained his love of the style and glamour of Hollywood) and wandering the streets of Melbourne, imagining one day that his own creations would be on display in the exclusive boutiques of Collins Street.

Leaving School at 15, he found employment as a pattern cutter, first for women’s lingerie, then on shirts at Gloweave. At 21 he opened a shop called ‘Zippity Doo Da’ in Toorak Road (later renamed ‘Quinzy’s’), and almost immediately attracted the attention of the young hip ‘monied’ crowd, including rock stars such as The Bee Gees, John Paul Young, Dragon and Sherbert. He made outfits for Countdown Host Molly Meldrum, who recalled Tyler as ‘shy and introverted, but an amazing worker, with an amazing attention to detail.’

In the mid 1970s the shop sent Tyler broke; this was followed by the loss of both his parents. Disillusioned, Tyler spent the next ten years living a nomadic life, living in Australia, Norway and the USA, and touring with musicians such as Diana Ross, Elton John and The Village People. He finally settled in Los Angeles, after meeting his future wife Lisa Trafficante. They opened a boutique, ‘Tyler-Trafficante’ in 1988 (with Richard designing and Lisa taking care of the business side). Its reputation spread quickly, and within 3 years the turnover was $8 million, as they dressed Hollywood’s A-List (including an array of Oscar and Emmy Award outfits.)

In 1993 he presented his first runway show in New York, going on to win the Best New Talent Award. This was followed by the Best Women’s Wear Designer in 1994, and Best Men’s Wear Designer in 1995. He spent time designing for other fashion houses, including Anne Klein and Byblos. In 1997 he released a range of both mens and womens shoes, both of which won awards.

 

      

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