Apologies for the gap in between posts; my (new) day job has been my focus for the past few weeks.
I was a kid when Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock was released in 1975 but my mum took me to see it anyway.It was love at first viewing and remains one of my top 10 favourites.
Everything about it – the cast, the art direction, the fact it was about school girls, a mystery and the brilliant soundtrack* – pushed my buttons.
My sister and I had long hair, a similar colour and length as Miranda’s (Anne-Louise Lambert) and we already wore it tied back in the up-and-down style.
We had a dress up box of long skirts and lacy tops and could pretend we were boarders at author Joan Lindsay’s fictitious Appleyard College.
We even pestered mum to drive us up to Clare just so we could stand outside and look at Martindale Hall, Mintaro, the film’s location for the school.
Later, my grandmother’s copy of the original book (1967) was passed around us girl cousins and we all read it and became slightly obsessed with the “mystery”.
So, it’s with interest that I read this week that British fashion designer Jenny Packham – a favourite of Kate Middleton’s – says her latest collection (Spring 2014) is inspired by Picnic at Hanging Rock.
The Telegraph fashion writer Luke Leitch wrote: “Spots, beads and floral studs cascaded in abundance in a collection that was inspired by Peter Weir's 1975 film of Picnic at Hanging Rock, with novelist Joan Lindsay's unsettling yarn of schoolgirls lost in the Australian bush. In honour of the period, there were Edwardian touches including unlaced satin bootie-heels and delicately pleated, high-necked, floor length gowns in Farrow & Ball shades.
As a nod to the 1970s styling of Weir's film, there was check, pussy-bows, wide-legged trousers and crazily frizzed hairstyles on the models - as if they had been dragged through a bush as well as lost in it.”
Check out my gallery below, which combines original stills from the film with shots from Packham’s latest collection, plus a few of Kate Middleton in Packham tacked on the end.
(*In June, I experienced an amazing moment of synchronicity. The real Hanging Rock is in Victoria, near Mt Macedon, but there is also two geographical locations called Hanging Rock, in NSW; one is an old mining town in the Northern Tablelands, but there is also an area called Hanging Rock in the Southern Tablelands, south-west of Sydney. If you’re driving from Sydney towards Hay on the way back to Adelaide, as Monsieur D and I were in June, you pass a sign that says Hanging Rock. On June 24, we were heading towards Hay, listening to ABC Classic FM countdown its second 100 top film soundtracks – and the exact moment we drove past the Hanging Rock sign, host Guy Noble introduced the soundtrack to Weir’s film. Freaky.)