The third J is for Jenny . . .

This Jenny refers to Jenny Kee  and her autobiography A Big Life.

Jenny Kee

I was going to start my review of this book by saying that here is a woman who is not going to die wondering what she could have done, she has gone ahead and done it.  She appears to have had an extremely full life, so far.

I really enjoyed this biography and learnt a great deal about Jenny Kee in the process.  My younger sister reminds me of Jenny Kee as she also has a great sense of fashion and can carry it off.

jenny kee

The blurb on the book says :

“Jenny Kee?  Didn’t she design that Koala jumper Princess Di wore when she was pregnant?  Wasn’t she the Softly lady in all those TV ads?  Didn’t she create that amazing frock salon, Flamingo Park?”

Yes, but that is only part of the remarkable Jenny Kee story.  Precocious, Bondi-loving daughter of a Chinese businessman-gambler; cute mod singled out by John Lennon for a very private party; alluring hippie chick in swinging London mixing it with the Oz expatriate larrikins and the rock stars, artists, fashion designers and beautiful people flocking to Biba and the Chelsea Antique Market; dynamo designer of the seventies and eighties, acclaimed by both the Australian press and the international fashionistas; artist honoured by museum exhibitions and a Parliament House commission; ardent conservation campaigner, creator of spectacular costumes for the Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony – Jenny Kee has been all of these, and she has written her autobiography with an energy, passion and élan to match.

Yet with searing honesty she also lays bare her private life: her dysfunctional family; her insecurities as a person and an artist; her love affairs and friendships; the highs and lows of motherhood and marriage to a gifted painter; her relationship with the younger man who became her soul mate, and its tragic end; the personal price she paid for the enormous success  – and disastrous decline – of her business; and her road to spiritual and emotional fulfilment.  Truly a Big Life.

The blurb on the book cover really says it all.  An amazing woman.

Olympic costumesCostumes for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics 2000.

Click on Jenny Kee to be linked to her webpage to find out more.

waratah scarf

One thought on “The third J is for Jenny . . .

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